ATLANTA — Centennial Academy, an Atlanta charter school, is responding after allegations were made against a school administrator related to a boy in south Georgia.
NBC affiliate, WALB in South Georgia, confirmed the Colquitt County Sheriff's Office arrested Ereco Maddox, 46, on June 26 on charges of one count of child molestation, two counts of sodomy and one count of interference with child custody.
Maddox is an associate head of school at Centennial Academy.
Deputies were dispatched early on the morning of June 26, when a mother called 911 after her son, who was "under the age of 16" went missing around 1:30-2 a.m., according to the sheriff's office.
The boy was returned home shortly after she called 911, before deputies arrived at their house, the sheriff's office said. The boy reportedly told deputies that Maddox had picked him up from his house, took him to a hotel in Moultrie and then brought him back to his house allegedly in a black SUV.
WALB said deputies confirmed the child told his mom that he thought Maddox was in town on business from Atlanta. The sheriff's office confirmed a black Cadillac SUV was in the area of the home around the time that the boy was picked up from his house.
Deputies arrested Maddox 30 minutes after the boy told them what hotel and room number they went to. Investigators found that Maddox and the boy had been talking through a phone dating app called "Grindr." They also were able to obtain the hotel's video surveillance that showed Maddox and the boy entering the room at the same time, the sheriff's office said.
WALB asked the sheriff's office if Maddox made bond out of jail to which officials responded, "Maddox is no longer in the Colquitt County Jail."
The school issued a statement Wednesday afternoon, acknowledging they were aware of "allegations," however they didn't elaborate on what the exact claims were.
"As there are a number of legal and privacy concerns involved, Centennial Academy can not discuss or comment extensively on this matter," the statement said in part. "The school is not aware of any misconduct occurring on campus or involving Centennial Academy scholars."
The school went on to say they are committed to protecting safety and well-being of the the student body and its staff.
"This is a responsibility that we take very seriously, and one that prompts us to take swift, consistent action when necessary," the statement said.
"Although Mr. Maddox has not been formally convicted of any crimes, the school’s human resources and legal teams are presently conducting a full investigation. As such, Mr. Maddox has been placed on administrative leave," the statement added.