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Posted: December 15, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Paraprofessional charged with child molestation

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Brandi McMichael

The Newton County Sheriff’s Office arrested paraprofessional Brandi McMichael yesterday in connection with a relationship McMichael allegedly had with a 13-year-old student at Cousins Middle School, where she worked.  McMichael, who turns 29 years old Dec. 8, faces one count of first degree child molestation, one count of transmitting illicit materials through a cell phone to a minor, one count of enticing a child for indecent purposes and one count of interfering with custody.

According to Lt. Bill Watterson, spokesman for the NCSO, McMichael sent text messages and indecent photos to the child’s cell phone and had been having an off-campus relationship with the middle school student.

Newton County School Systems spokesperson Sherri Viniard said school administrators contacted the authorities when they learned of the relationship and are fully cooperating with the Sheriff's office in its investigation.

"We are obviously very concerned about the allegations and based on the outcome of the investigation, the board will take appropriate action, possibly as early as the board meeting scheduled for next Tuesday, Dec. 9," Viniard said in a prepared statement.

According to Newton County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Lt. Bill Watterson, McMichael bonded out late Wednesday afternoon for a total of $7,000 on all offenses. He said the next step in the case will be a probable cause hearing, which generally comes 45 days after arrest.

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