Investigators arrested Matthew Tamanini, 31, of Canton, on Wednesday afternoon after receiving information the teacher had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old Creekview student, Lt. Jay Baker, spokesman with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, said in a release.
Tamanini, a drama and English teacher who has taught at the school for six years, is charged with two counts of sexual assault against a person in custody, Baker said.
Baker said Cherokee County School District Police notified detectives of the allegation Wednesday morning.
“It is believed the relationship with the student has been ongoing for approximately four months,” Baker said. “Investigators believe that the assaults occurred on the Creekview campus on at least two occasions.”
Tamanini is in custody at the Cherokee Adult Detention Center and a Wednesday afternoon bond hearing set his bond at $44,400 with special conditions set by Judge Nancy Carson.
The school district issued a statement Wednesday saying Tamanini has been reassigned to a non-school worksite because of the criminal investigation under way by the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office.
“The principal of Creekview was made aware of the allegations on Tuesday and the Cherokee County School District Police Department was alerted,” district spokeswoman Barbara Jacoby said in the statement. “Superintendent (Dr. Frank Petruzielo) immediately authorized an internal investigation on Tuesday; this action authorized the CCSD Police to contact the Sheriff’s Office, which began a criminal investigation this morning.”
She added that a letter explaining the situation to Creekview parents would be sent home with students Wednesday.
In the letter, Principal Dr. Adrian Thomason sad he was “deeply concerned” for his staff member’s alleged behavior.
“Creekview High School neither accepts nor condones inappropriate or unprofessional behavior demonstrated by our teachers, staff or students,” Thomason wrote in the letter, adding Creekview administration will continue to cooperate fully with the ongoing investigation.
Jacoby said Tamanini was hired by CCSD in May 2007. The district’s standard operating procedure relative to continued employment pending the outcome of an investigation will apply, she added.
This is the second arrest of a Creekview teacher this school year, police reports show.
Blake Bearden, 31, was arrested Nov. 28, 2012, and charged with four counts of sexual assault for allegedly having a three-month long relationship with a 17-year-old student.
Bearden was a special education and track and cross country coach at the school.