Former Oxford High School teacher charged with alleged sexual affair with student

Published 2:58 pm Monday, September 18, 2017

Former Oxford High School physics teacher James Reidy has been arrested and charged with sexual battery by a person having authority over the victim.

Reidy and his attorney, Tony Farese, appeared at the Lafayette County Circuit Court on Monday afternoon for a scheduled probable cause hearing. However, Reidy, through his attorney, waived his right to the hearing.

Circuit Court Judge Andrew Howorth read over the criminal affidavit supplied by the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department and issued the warrant for Reidy’s arrest and set his bond for $25,000.

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Reidy was to report to the Lafayette County Detention Center after the hearing.

According to Lafayette County Sheriff Chief Investigator Alan Wilburn, the sheriff’s department received a call on Sept. 11 from the Oxford Police Department saying it had received information from the Department of Human Services hotline that a teacher at Oxford High School was having sex with a student. However, the sexual acts were allegedly occurring outside the city limits in Lafayette County.

“We started an investigation and we interviewed various individuals who were involved,” Wilburn said Monday. “According to the victim, she and Mr. Reidy have been having sex for a year.”

Wilburn said the victim was 16 when the relationship started and is now 17 years old.

“She is cooperating with us and the District Attorney’s Office,” he said.

Oxford School District Superintendent Brian Harvey said Reidy was terminated on Sunday.

“School officials conducted a thorough investigation into teacher misconduct allegations last week, and the appropriate authorities were notified immediately,” Harvey said Monday afternoon. “The Oxford School District takes teacher misconduct allegations very seriously. The safety and well-being of our students are of the utmost importance and a top priority.”

Wilburn said the case will go before the Lafayette County Grand Jury in February.

Reidy, an AP chemistry and physics teacher, has worked at OHS for 24 years and has been a teacher for 26 years. He has been chosen by a student as the school’s STAR teacher 12 times and was inducted into the STAR Teacher Hall of Fame in Mississippi in 2015.