A man accused of sexual misconduct with a high school student has been granted a conditional bond, weeks after a Bulloch County Superior Court judge initially denied bond.
In June, Judge William Woodrum denied bond for Jeffrey Tyler Crowder, 25, of Mike-Ann Drive, who is charged with having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 16-year-old female Statesboro High School student.
At a bond hearing held June 3, Woodrum expressed concern that Crowder, an assistant football and soccer coach, might try to contact victims involved in the case.
Crowder's attorney, Troy Marsh, filed a motion for reconsideration June 12, as well as a supplemental motion for reconsideration July 2, according to information from the Bulloch County Clerk's Office.
A hearing was held July 10 and on Thursday, Woodrum granted Crowder a bond with conditions, according to an order filed with the clerk's office.
Under the conditions Woodrum set, Crowder must not break any laws, post a $30,000 cash or property bond, not set foot in Bulloch County unless attending court hearings, and live with his mother until the case is closed.
Also, Crowder is prohibited from having contact with any females younger than age 18 unless they are under adult supervision, must avoid contact of any kind with victims associated with the case, must refrain from drinking alcohol or taking drugs he is not prescribed, and must not become involved in any teaching or coaching activities, according to the order.
In June, a police investigator testified that Crowder admitted having sex with more than one teen and contacted teenage girls even after being confronted by Dr. Marty Waters, then the Statesboro High principal, about the accusations.
Waters was arrested in May on charges he failed to report sexual abuse of a child in a timely manner. He resigned after Bulloch County Board of Education members voted on a slate of contract renewals for principals that did not include Waters. He seeks a jury trial in state court.
Crowder is charged with sexual assault by a person of authority, and more charges are possible as the investigation continues, Ogeechee Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Daphne Jarriel Totten said in June.
Statesboro police Detective Sgt. James Winskey took the stand during Crowder's preliminary hearing in June, testifying that Crowder admitted to him having "hooked up" with at least two teenage female students on more than one occasion in his home.
Winskey told the court that police were investigating a separate case involving sexual misconduct by a high school coach with a different teenage female student April 24 when they learned of Crowder's involvement with a student, who was 16 at the time. Crowder was arrested at the school April 30.
Luke Edward Parks, 26, of Jesup, was also arrested in April, but has not yet been indicted on charges of felony sexual exploitation of children and sexual assault. The Bulloch County grand jury meets next month, and it is possible that Parks could be indicted then. His case is not linked to Crowder's, police said.
Winskey testified that one girl told investigators the affair with Crowder took place between Oct. 15 and Nov. 30, and they had sexual relations at least twice during that time. Statesboro High School faculty members learned of the alleged affair in March, and told Waters, whom Winskey said confronted Crowder about the accusations.
Crowder denied having any inappropriate contact with students, and Waters "told him he needed to be careful," Winskey said.
Winskey testified that Crowder admitted "hooking up" with one victim "three or four times" and said he contacted students via Twitter, text and Facebook. Crowder told investigators he met several teenage students at bars near the Georgia Southern University campus and entertained students in his home, Winskey said.
During the investigation, however, Crowder had said he did not want to comment about specific sexual encounters, Winskey testified. Crowder did admit during questioning that he also had sexual contact with a second female student "during and after" the time period in which he was involved with the first victim, Winskey said.
Police questioned seven female students who said they had all been inappropriately contacted by Crowder either in a social setting or via social media, as well as an eighth girl who graduated in 2013 who said she and Crowder had a sexual affair while she was a student, Winskey told the court.
During the investigation, Crowder "basically said he may have a problem" with "uncontrollable impulses" when he was around attractive females, Winskey testified.
When Marsh questioned Winskey, the detective testified that Crowder was "worried" during the times he was involved with students, and that while he thought he might be fired if the illicit relationships were discovered, he felt that because he was a paraprofessional and not a certified teacher, he would not be charged with a crime.
Immediately following the preliminary hearing in June, Marsh called witnesses for a bond hearing. The court heard from parents of students supervised by Crowder, as well as his mother and sister. His mother, Pamela Crowder, testified that her son was assessed while in jail and possibly had "a problem with marijuana and drinking."
During the June hearing, Totten, the prosecutor, expressed concern about a bond being granted, stating that Crowder's admitted problem with self-control around females, as well as his disregard for school board policy regarding socializing with students and his having contacted students even after Waters' warning him to "be careful" were reasons for initial denial of bond.
Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.