GENESEE COUNTY, MI — A 30-year music teacher at Atherton Community Schools who worked with students from the fifth grade to the twelfth grade has been charged with six counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct, Genesee Prosecutor David Leyton announced today.
Jerry Lee Cutting, 54, was arrested while Burton police conducted a search warrant on his Clayton Township home on Friday, Oct. 21.
School officials and police learned that Cutting had an alleged inappropriate relationship and sexual relations with a 14-year-old student on Thursday, Oct. 20. Cutting was placed on paid leave that same day.
Cutting was arraigned on six counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct on Monday, Oct. 24 in Genesee District Court Judge Herman Marable Jr.’s courtroom.
Three of the 14-year-old victim’s friends approached the dean of students last week to report the inappropriate relationship. The dean then told the principal, who called Burton Police to report the incident, Leyton said.
Leyton said the first incident took place on the last day of the 2021-22 school year, when the victim was in eighth grade. Investigators believe there were incidents that took place at Cutting’s home, at the school and hotels in the area.
Cutting was a 30-year music teacher at the elementary and high school buildings. He is also a former girls basketball coach and softball coach.
The prosecutor also said that it is possible there may be more victims, however, at this point they believe this is an isolated incident.
“He had been spending an inordinate amount of time with them,” Leyton said. “And then at some point, it turned into this sexual relationship.”
Superintendent John Ploof said the district is working with the Burton Police Department and Chief Brian Ross. Leyton told Ploof not to release any statements to the community at the end of last week while the police investigation took place.
“(The staff is) devastated for the victim. They are devastated for the impact that it has on us as a small school system and a community,” Ploof said at a Monday press conference. “You know, right now we’re all kind of reeling a bit.”
Atherton Community Schools has a Board of Education meeting tonight at 6:30 pm at 3354 S. Genesee Road in Burton. Ploof said he expects to hear from the community.
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