Former HMS Janitor charged with enticing a child and sexual abuse second degree bound over to grand jury

Published 7:33 pm Tuesday, December 17, 2013

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal

A former Hayneville Middle School janitor has been bound over to a grand jury on charges of sexual abuse second degree and enticing a child.

Lowndes County District Court Judge Adrian D. Johnson bound Lee Andrew Saffold, 47, of Hayneville, over to the Lowndes County grand jury on Tuesday, Dec. 17.

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Lowndes County District Attorney Charlotte M. Tesmer said the result of a preliminary hearing was a finding of “probable cause that needed to go over to the grand jury.”. The next Lowndes County grand jury meeting is Jan. 13, 2014 she said.

Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office officials said Saffold had been out of jail after making bond at the John Hulett Detention Facility.

Tesmer said his bonds were $7,500 for enticing a child and $2,500 for sexaul abuse second degree.

Saffold resigned his position from the Lowndes County School System due to adverse publicity from the charges.

According to Hayneville Police Chief Kelvin Mitchell, Saffold was arrested on Thursday, Oct. 24 for an alleged incident that occurred at Hayneville Middle School on Sept. 30, following a report by school officials to the Department of Human Resources.

Mitchell said at the time, “Upon investigation, he (Saffold) was arrested on those two charges (enticing a child, sexual abuse second degree). He was the janitor/custodian.”

When contacted by the Signal about the arrest on Monday Oct. 28, Lowndes County School Superintendent Dr. Daniel Boyd said, “We are going to wait for the Hayneville Police Department to do their investigation. He’s not on leave, but of course, he’s not working, so he’s not being paid.”

Boyd reported on Thursday, Oct. 31 that at a special called meeting that morning, the resignation of Saffold from Oct. 30 was approved.

He said Saffold resigned “not because he said he was guilty.” He said Saffold, “resigned because he said he didn’t want negative publicity involving this incident to involve the school district.”

Boyd said Saffold was working at Hayneville Middle School when he was accused of something.

“On Sept. 30, it was reported by a student that Mr. Saffold had touched her inappropriately,” Boyd said.

He said the principal contacted DHR and that Saffold was “placed on leave with pay pending an investigation.”

Boyd said, “He was on leave for approximately seven days.”

He said Saffold reported back to work at the Central Office Oct. 11 and was placed at Central Elementary where he worked until his arrest.

Mitchell said the arrest was made at Central Elementary and that he pressed the charges against Saffold.

“He’s not an employee of our district anymore,” Boyd said. He continued, “He has resigned. We did our internal investigation, and we did not find any evidence to corroborate what the student was saying. So, from a school district perspective, we’re done with this particular situation.”