GBI arrests Harris Co. High School teacher in sexual battery investigation

James Harris Steel
James Harris Steel(Source: Harris County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 12:02 PM EST
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HAMILTON, Ga. (WTVM) - A Harris County High School teacher has been arrested after a sexual battery investigation with the GBI.

69-year-old James Steel, of Leesburg, Ga., is charged with one count of sexual battery of a person under 16 years of age.

According to the GBI, a Harris County Grand Jury indicted Steel on November 14. They say on May 9, the Hamilton Police Department asked the GBI to investigate allegations that Steel had inappropriate contact with multiple students.

The Harris County School District said the following:

When the alleged incident was reported, administrators of both the school and school district took immediate action to notify the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and to provide support for those involved. The teacher was immediately reassigned pending the criminal investigation. The teacher is being placed on administrative leave with no access to students.

Details are limited as the school district continues to work with law enforcement in this case, which is now under the jurisdiction of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Harris County School District

Steel was booked at the Harris County Jail.

This investigation is active and ongoing. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the GBI Columbus Field Office at 706-565-7888.