The teacher’s attorney disputed the charges against his client.
Detective Brandon Edwards was named the lead investigator in a case against Mark Anthony Swanson, 50, who turned himself in at the Bradley County Jail Thursday.
Swanson was charged with four counts of assault on a sixth-grade student at Ocoee Middle School.
According to Shoemaker, as well as his attorney Scott Kanavos, the charge is offensive touching and is a Class D misdemeanor.
The incident(s) reportedly occurred in January, according to Shoemaker.
“The statute is a subsection of simple assault and covers touching someone which could be deemed provocative or offensive,” said Shoemaker.
Edwards began the investigation after a guardian of the student reported the alleged incident, according to Shoemaker.
Shoemaker could provide no further details other than saying the offensive touching could include a hug, pat on the back, kiss or massage.
Dan Glasscock of Bradley County Schools said “Because this is an ongoing criminal investigation, the school system would defer all questions to the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office.”
“Due to federal and state privacy laws, we are not at liberty to discuss the nature of Mr. Swanson’s absence,” Glasscock said.
Swanson last worked Feb. 6.
“I know Mark and anyone who knows him would have difficulty believing he could do anything to harm anyone, especially a child,” said Swanson’s attorney Kanavos.
“He is a teacher, coach, mentor and a friend to thousands of children in Bradley County. He loves his students and his job,” Kanavos said.
Swanson was booked at the Bradley County Jail and released on $16,000, according to Shoemaker.