Phenix City teacher accused of touching student out on leave

Korey Abercrombie, 35; Source: Columbus Police Department
Korey Abercrombie, 35; Source: Columbus Police Department

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email | Twitter

PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) –  "He's devastated by the accusations."

Doctor Larry DiChiara, Superintendent of Phenix City schools, is talking about 35-year-old Korey Abercrombie.

The English teacher at Central High School is on paid administrative leave after a 17-year-old female student told authorities an embrace with Abercrombie turned into something more.

He turned himself in to Columbus Police (the alleged incident reportedly taking place in Columbus) last week and is charged with sexual battery.

"You have to remember they are presumed innocent until proven guilty and so right now, we're in the fact-finding stage and we'll make a determination in the next few days as to whether it is alright for him to come back to work in the meantime," Dr. DiChiara told WTVM Monday.

Officials in the Columbus Police Department's Sex Crimes Unit say the teen reported that Abercrombie drove her to a family member's home in Columbus, hugged her, then allegedly touched her inappropriately.

When the girl indicated that's not what she wanted, police say Abercrombie drove her back to school in Phenix City.

DiChiara says the educator has no criminal history and no prior complaints.

"Mister Abercrombie is a class act and a good teacher and very well-liked by the students. Mister Abercrombie bends over backwards helping students every day. This a surprise and a shock to a lot of people and that's why we're giving him the benefit of the doubt until we get more information and until he has his day in court," DiChiara added.

Korey Abercrombie is out of jail on bond on his misdemeanor charge.

His case has moved to State Court.

A news crew stopped by his home Monday and was told he has no comment on the case.

Doctor DiChiara says Abercrombie is seeking legal representation.

©2010 WTVM. All rights reserved.