The trial for former Statesboro High School Principal Dr. Martin "Marty" Waters, charged with failure to report child abuse, will begin Monday at the Bulloch County Courthouse in the state courtroom, before State Court Judge Gary Mikell.
The Statesboro Herald filed a request last Monday to have a videographer and photographer in the courtroom during the trial. After a hearing Friday, Mikell denied the request for several reasons including concerns about testimony by minor witnesses, and the time frame in which the request was made.
Waters resigned from his position as Statesboro High School principal in May after his arrest on the misdemeanor charge, which occurred after he was accused of failing to report in a timely manner information he allegedly received that one of two assistant coaches, both charged with sexual misconduct with students, had had inappropriate contact with female students.
Statesboro police said Waters had known since March about suspected sexual abuse by assistant girls soccer coach Jeffrey Tyler Crowder, 25, of a 16-year-old female student.
Crowder was arrested April 30 and charged with felony sexual assault, two days after police were given information about an inappropriate relationship. He was granted a conditional bond in July requiring him to live with his mother, not break any laws, post a $30,000 cash or property bond and not set foot in Bulloch County unless attending court hearings, until the case is closed.
During Friday’s hearing, Mikell stated that Crowder’s trial is slated for sometime in February. A spokesperson with the Bulloch County Clerk of Courts Office said Friday there was no record yet of the exact date of Crowder’s trial, which will be held in Bulloch County Superior Court.
Assistant football coach Luke Edward Parks, 26, was arrested May 1 and charged with felony sexual exploitation of children and sexual assault, also involving a reported inappropriate relationship with a different 16-year-old female student.
Parks has not yet been indicted on those charges. His case is not linked to Crowder's, police said.
According to information from the Bulloch County Clerk of Courts Office, jury selection for Waters' trial will be Monday. During Friday’s hearing, State Court Solicitor
Joey Cowart said the trial will begin later that day with opening arguments.
Waters submitted a letter of resignation, which was approved by the Bulloch County Board of Education during its May 22 meeting. The board had already voted on a list of contract renewals for principals for the 2014-15 year that did not include Waters.
Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.