An East Hall teacher and coach has been charged with sexual battery by the Hall County Sheriff’s Office.
Mark Eric Fowler, 32, who goes by Eric, was arrested Friday, July 17, and is at the Hall County Jail without bond, according to jail records. He has been charged with aggravated sexual battery and sexual battery of a person over 16 years old.
Fowler teaches at East Hall Middle School and is the head baseball coach for East Hall High School. He was named to that position in 2016.
Hall County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Derreck Booth said Fowler had arranged to meet with a woman April 4 in the 3900 block of P Davison Road “to discuss a legitimate business arrangement.”
“According to the initial investigation, Fowler, intentionally and without consent, forcibly placed his hand into the adult female victim’s pants and underwear and then committed the offense of aggravated sexual battery,” Booth wrote in a news release.
The woman told Fowler she needed to use the restroom and called a friend, Booth said.
“When the friend arrived, she was able to leave and contact the Sheriff’s Office,” Booth said.
Investigators took the case and obtained arrest warrants Thursday, July 16, before arresting him at his residence the next day.
Hall County Schools spokesman Stan Lewis confirmed Saturday, July 18, that the school system was aware of the arrest and conducting its own internal investigation, but as of Saturday Fowler is still employed by the school system.
“The district takes it very seriously, and again, it is being reviewed by personnel, and it will be addressed appropriately,” Lewis said.
Lewis said the school system's "understanding is that there were no students involved.”
On Monday, district officials said no action had yet been taken.
"We are allowing the Sheriff’s department to conduct its investigation, and our personnel department is reviewing all information as it comes in," an emailed statement said.
The case is still under investigation.
Reporter Megan Reed contributed to this report.