OCGA 16-6-5.1 (B) Interpretation

In Whitehead v. State, 295 Ga. App. 562 (672 SE2d 517) (2009) the Court of Appeals affirmed Richard Dennis Whitehead's conviction under OCGA 16-6-5.1 (b) for sexual assault against a person enrolled in a school. Whitehead's conviction followed a bench trial, at which the evidence showed that he, while a teacher at Bainbridge High School, engaged in sexual contact within the meaning of OCGA 16-6-5.1 (a) (4) with J. A. P., a 17-year-old student registered at the school. Whitehead challenged his conviction on several grounds, including insufficiency of the evidence. the Court affirmed his conviction, ruling that the evidence was sufficient to show that Whitehead had "supervisory or disciplinary authority" over J. A. P., as required for a conviction under OCGA 16-6-5.1 (b), which provides that "a . . . supervisor of another person referred to in this Code section commits sexual assault when he or she engages in sexual contact with another person . . . who is enrolled in a school . . . and such actor has supervisory or disciplinary authority over such other person." The Supreme Court granted Whitehead's petition for certiorari and remanded the case for consideration in light of the Supreme Court's decision in Chase v. State 285 Ga. 693 (681 SE2d 116) (2009).