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Ex-metro Atlanta teacher pleads guilty in Cherokee County child molestation case

Robert Vandel was sentenced to eight years in prison, concurrent to a Fulton County prison sentence, for pleading guilty to two counts of child molestation.

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. — Robert Vandel, an ex-metro Atlanta teacher who has previously pleaded guilty to a child sexual abuse case in Fulton County, on Thursday pleaded guilty in a second case in Cherokee County.

The 65-year-old pleaded guilty to two counts of child molestation in a case stemming from his time at Lyndon Academy in Holly Springs. Two additional charges, of sexual battery against a child under the age of 16, were dismissed as part of the guilty plea.

The minor victim gave an impact statement in court Thursday, and then Vandel was sentenced to eight years in prison to be served concurrently with his 10-year prison sentence for pleading guilty in the Fulton County case.

RELATED: A metro Atlanta teacher has been sentenced for rape, child molestation. Here are the details.

Vandel was first arrested on rape and other charges for assaulting a student at Fulton Academy of Science and Technology (FAST) Charter School in Roswell.

He then faced additional charges linked to the second victim while he was teaching at Lyndon Academy.

After his arrest on the Roswell case in November 2021, Holly Springs Police said they were "made aware of possible inappropriate conduct directed at a student enrolled at the Lyndon Academy."

The department said the victim "identified Robert Vandel as the suspect." After a "thorough investigation" they were able to obtain the warrants on the two new charges.

Warrants from Fulton County claimed Vandel was having online chats with several students while at FAST. It also stated Vandel's classroom used to be in a trailer outside of the main building, and several students were seen going to the trailer during recess, lunch, and after school. 

The warrant alleged Vandel kept roaches, lizards, and a hedgehog in his classroom to encourage students to spend time there when they weren't in class, and that he gave students candy and ice cream when they visited his classroom, as well. 

In his Fulton County sentencing, Vandel was ordered to spend the rest of his life on probation and on the sex offender registry. 

"He will not be allowed any unsupervised contact with minors, no contact with the victims or their families, and will never be able to serve in a capacity where he will have access to children," Roswell Police wrote in a Facebook post after the guilty plea in that case.

A plea agreement was also reached as a result of efforts between the District Attorney's Office, the victims and their families. 

"The decision was ultimately driven by a mutually-shared goal of sparing two children the re-traumatization of a lengthy criminal trial, and preventing any further trauma and intrusion into their lives," the police department wrote. 


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