Former Midland Valley school resource officer pleads guilty to sexual relationship with student
A former Aiken County Sheriff’s Office resource officer with Midland Valley High School pleaded guilty in an Aiken County courtroom last week to having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old high school student.
Donald Eugene Henry Jr., 57, of North Augusta, pleaded guilty on Thursday, July 26, to the charge of sexual battery upon a student, court records show.
Second Judicial Circuit Judge Doyet A. Early III sentenced Henry to five years in prison suspended to 90 days in jail followed by five years of probation.
As part of his sentence, his first year of probation will be on house arrest, solicitors said.
Investigators with the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office were informed about the allegations against Henry by the Aiken County Public School District in January 2017. They met with the victim who then “denied having an inappropriate contact with the resource officer,” according to a statement from 2017.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division then opened its own independent investigation, where agents reportedly gathered information leading them to believe Henry had committed sexual acts multiple times with the enrolled 17-year-old student while he still held his position as an Aiken County deputy assigned as a school resource officer at Midland Valley High School, according to arrest warrants.
Henry resigned from the Sheriff’s Office within a few days after the investigation was opened. He had served as a school resource officer in Aiken County since 2005.
The Aiken County School District released this statement following the arrest in 2017 saying, “We are terribly disappointed by today’s arrest of a former school resource officer entrusted with providing a safe learning environment for our students and faculty members. We are pleased to put this matter behind us and continue our focus on accelerated learning for all students.”
Henry was arrested on Feb. 3, 2017, and taken to the Aiken County detention center, where he was released the same day on a $50,000 bond.