IM this article to a friend!

December 10, 2004

Accused school interpreter's court date scheduled for January

From: Athens Banner-Herald, GA - Dec 10, 2004

Speedy trial demand dropped

By Joe Johnson

An interpreter for the deaf and hearing impaired at Clarke Central High School has withdrawn a demand for a speedy trail on charges that she sexually molested three male students.

In a recent appearance in Clarke County Superior Court, Natasha McCrary's defense attorney explained he withdrew the demand because of scheduling conflicts.

The attorney, Kim T. Stevens, told a judge he was preparing to bring two other cases to trial.

Judge Steve Jones said he would put McCrary's case on his January trial calendar.

McCrary, 32, filed the speedy trial demand in October, at which time Stevens explained his client wanted a chance to be quickly exonerated so she could return to her work with children, from which she'd been barred since her arrest.

He claims McCrary is the victim, arrested based on the fabricated story of a child whose parents were blackmailing her.

In September, McCrary was charged with three counts each of aggravated child molestation and enticing a child for indecent purposes.

On July 29, McCrary reported to Athens-Clarke police that one of her students was trying to extort money from her by fabricating a story that she had sex with him, and that the boy's parents had threatened her, according to police reports.

The same day the boy made the threat, his mother, 35-year-old Latasha Sims, allegedly called McCrary to arrange a meeting with the boy's father, 40-year-old Greg Byrd, at a local restaurant where Byrd was employed, police said. After the parents got into McCrary's car in the restaurant parking lot, Byrd told her, "You're going to suffer," and, "I want you in debt," according to police.

Byrd allegedly demanded rings McCrary was wearing, and Sims took $10, all the cash McCrary had on her, and both parents "demanded Mrs. McCrary set up a college fund for their son," according to police.

After McCrary filed her complaint, police said, detectives questioned the boy about the alleged molestation and subsequently identified three other students who claimed to have had sex with the interpreter, all but one of whom were underage.

The case was then submitted to a Clarke County grand jury, which returned an indictment Sept. 1.

McCrary and the student's parents were all arrested Sept. 10 following a hearing in Athens-Clarke County Magistrate Court.

Published in the Athens Banner-Herald on Friday, December 10, 2004

Copyright 2004 Athens Banner-Herald and Morris Digital Works.