Georgia band director arrested on charges of sex with students at Alabama high school

A band director who just started a new job in Georgia is accused of having sex with several students at his former high school in Alabama, police said Friday.

Charges of sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment and six criminal counts involving a teacher having sex with students have been filed against 32-year-old Jeffrey Lance Gainous in Brewton, located about 65 miles northeast of Mobile, police said.

Gainous worked for six years at T.R. Miller High School, and former students have since come forward to tell police they had sexual encounters with the band director both at the school and at his home, Brewton Police Chief Monte McGougin said. He told reporters Gainous has sexual contact over a three-year period with at least eight girls. The chief said authorities are investigating claims some girls were tied up and gagged.

"I understand some things came up about tying up some victims and stuff like that, but I'm not real sure on exactly that," McGougin told WALA-TV ( ).

Gainous was arrested Wednesday in rural Thomasville, Georgia, where he started work less than two weeks ago as band director at Thomas County Central High School. School officials said Gainous resigned following his arrest.

Thomas County schools Superintendent Dusty Kornegay said no problems came up when school officials checked Gainous' references and ran a criminal background check on him.

"All of the information gathered was positive from both a personal and professional standpoint," Kornegay told the Thomasville Times-Enterprise ( ).

The Brewton police chief did not immediately return phone messages left at his office Friday by The Associated Press. An assistant to Escambia County District Attorney Stephen Billy said Friday the prosecutor was out of the office until Monday and would not be checking messages.

It was not immediately known if Gainous had hired a defense attorney.

Authorities returned Gainous to Alabama from Georgia on Thursday. He has been charged with a total of 12 counts, WKRG-TV reported ( ).