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Former Statesboro High Principal Marty Waters pleads not guilty, seeks jury trial
Dr. Marty Waters

Former Statesboro High School Principal Dr. Marty Waters, entered a "not guilty" plea to a misdemeanor failure to report child abuse Monday in Bulloch County State Court.

Waters, who was not present in the courtroom, waived arraignment procedures and entered the plea via his attorney, Dan Snipes. He also asked for a trial by jury, according to state court records.

Snipes said Monday he is awaiting investigative reports from the Statesboro Police Department, as the discovery process begins after arraignment. He had no further comment on Waters' case.

Waters, 41, of Nevils, was arrested May 9 after police charged him with failure to report sexual abuse in a timely manner. This followed the arrest of two Statesboro High School assistant coaches, Jeffrey Tyler Crowder and Luke Edward Parks, each charged with felony sexual assault of a child by someone in a supervisory position. The cases are separate, Statesboro Public Safety Director Wendell Turner said.

Police said they learned of the incidents in late April. Crowder, 25, of Mike-Ann Drive, was jailed April 30 on felony sexual assault charges stemming from alleged inappropriate relations with a 16-year-old female student.

Police were notified April 28 that another coach was allegedly involved with a different teenage student. On May 1, SHS assistant football coach Luke Edward Parks, 26, of Jesup, turned himself in to police after warrants were issued for his arrest.

Waters, who has worked with Bulloch County Schools for 15 years, and was named Statesboro High's principal in 2005, was placed on administrative leave. Later, the Bulloch County Board of Education voted not to renew Waters' contract, and then accepted his resignation days later.

Bulloch County Schools Superintendent Charles Wilson appointed one of the school's current assistant principals, Dr. Ken LeCain, to serve as acting principal.

Unless Waters decides to change his plea, he will face a jury of six people in front of Bulloch County State Court Judge Gary Mikell. A trial date has not yet been set. State Court Solicitor Joey Cowart will prosecute the case, Snipes confirmed.

The case is in state court because the charge is a misdemeanor. Superior courts handle felony cases, and if those proceed to trial, the jury has 12 people.

Crowder was denied bond last week and awaits further court action, while Parks has not yet been arraigned, according to Bulloch County Clerk of Courts records.
Waters remains free on bond.

Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.


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