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UPDATED: Holly Hill Academy teacher accused of sexual relationship with student; suspect 'ruined our son's life,' mother claims
Times & Democrat - 11/17/2023
Nov. 16—A former Holly Hill Academy teacher is accused of having an illegal sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student.
Reagan Mobley Anderson, 27, of Holly Hill, is charged with two counts of sexual battery of a student age 16/17 without coercion.
"We began investigating immediately after being notified of these allegations in order to prevent any further inappropriate contact with students," Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said in a release.
"If anyone has any more information, they are asked to get in touch with us," he said.
Orangeburg County Sheriff's investigators were notified of the allegations on Nov. 8, 2023.
According to an OCSO incident report, officers met with HHA Head of School Brandy Mullennax and Assistant Head of School Susan Paramore.
The educators reported on rumors they heard about a possible inappropriate sexual relationship between a teacher and a student.
The rumors indicated that Anderson had allegedly sent some nude photos through Snapchat. They heard some students, another teacher and coach also observed Snapchat activity related to this incident, according to the report.
The incident report notes Anderson denied the allegations.
According to Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office arrest warrants, Anderson allegedly met with the 17-year-old student at her residence in Holly Hill on Oct. 22. She allegedly met him again on Oct. 28 in the Pizza Hut parking lot in Santee.
The warrant notes the 17-year-old provided a detailed statement about both events.
Anderson, dressed in a blue detention center outfit, appeared before Orangeburg County Magistrate Derrick Dash for a bond hearing on Thursday.
She simply responded to the judge's questions with "Yes, sir" and "No, sir."
The 17-year-old's mother spoke at the hearing as Anderson looked on. She called Anderson "a wolf in sheep's clothes, hiding in plain sight, waiting for her prey."
The mother called the former teacher "a trusted coach, teacher and friend that abused her trust and violated her oath as an educator and has ruined our son's life."
The mother said her son should have been able to focus on being a "fun-loving" football player.
The mother described Anderson as "prancing around town" in a cheerleader's outfit and "sending naked photos to students" in the school.
The state alleges multiple nude and non-nude pictures were sent to the 17-year-old over a couple of months.
South Carolina Victim Assistance Network Legal Director Sarah Ford said Anderson's alleged actions were a "complete betrayal of the trust" parents have in a teacher to educate and care for their children.
"She violated every code there is," Ford said.
Ford asked the court for a "substantial bond" and for the court to limit Anderson's access to social media applications such as Snapchat.
"Those very apps and the telephone were used to groom children," Ford said.
Sen. Brad Hutto, an Orangeburg attorney, requested a personal recognizance bond for Anderson, noting that she has no prior criminal record and would not be a flight risk as her family lives in Holly Hill.
Dash set a $2,500 cash or surety bond on Anderson with a 10 percent option for the family.
Anderson was also ordered by the court to have no contact either in person or through social media with the 17-year-old and his family. She will be required to wear a GPS monitor.
If she's found guilty, Anderson faces up to five years in prison.
Mullennax sent parents a letter noting that Holly Hill Academy contacted law enforcement after it learned of the allegations. The school has cooperated with law enforcement as officers continue the investigation, according to the letter.
The letter also said Anderson no longer works for the school.
"As a school community, we strive to always provide a safe and secure learning environment for all our students," the letter said. "We cannot comment on this matter further at this time, other than to assure you that we will continue to work with law enforcement and provide the needed supports for our students and staff as we deal with this situation."
"As we navigate this difficult time, please keep our Raider family in your prayers," the letter said.
Mullennax would not provide comment beyond the letter sent to parents, noting the investigation is ongoing.
If anyone has any additional information that would help in the investigation, they are asked to contact the sheriff's office at 803-534-3550.
Contact the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org or 803-533-5551. Check out Zaleski on Twitter at @ZaleskiTD.
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