Ex-Georgia principal accused of sexual assault in 3 counties

Ryan Rickard (Via WSBTV.com)
Ryan Rickard (Via WSBTV.com)

A former Georgia school administrator accused of sexually abusing students was arrested Friday on multiple charges in three counties, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said.

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Ryan Rickard, who was assistant principal of Morgan County High School until his resignation earlier this year, was charged with multiple counts of sexual assault by persons with supervisory or disciplinary authority and sexual battery as well as one count of rape, GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles said.

Authorities believe he abused three students while he was a teacher and that there may be other victims.

“The charges were taken in three separate counties to include Walton, Oconee, and Morgan,” Miles said.

Rickard, 34, was previously under federal investigation for attempting to access child pornography online, according to the GBI. The Department of Homeland Security requested assistance from the GBI’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit because the investigation had elements of federal and state crimes.

Before Morgan County High School, Rickard was a teacher at North Oconee High School in Watkinsville, a teacher and athletic director at Memorial Middle School in Conyers and a student teacher at Burke County High School.

“Child sexual abuse inflicts lifelong mental and physical scars on its victims and the added abuse of power in this case makes the crime even more egregious,” Nick Annan, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations Atlanta, said in a statement.