Teacher sentenced in sexual assault case
A former Old Town Middle School teacher faces 30 years in prison after he was convicted of sexually assaulting a student, District Attorney Bubba Bramlett announced Tuesday.
The teacher, Marchenne Nyree Hatchett, 46, of Madison was convicted by a Madison County jury on one count of sexual battery, Bramlett’s office said
Hatchett was a coach and teacher at Old Town Middle School in Ridgeland, and his victim was a student.
“Hatchett faces up to 30 years in prison,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Ashley Allen said. “All time will be served without the possibility of early release or parole. He will also be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.”
On February 23, 2023, Hatchett engaged in sexual contact with a then 14-year-old female student while they were in school, Bramlett said. The child’s mother became aware of the allegation and notified school personnel approximately one week after the incident.
Officials with the school were able to pull video surveillance from the school that confirmed Hatchett and his victim were outside of the classroom during class time which corroborated the victim’s timeline of events. School officials then turned the surveillance tapes over to the Ridgeland Police Department after confirming with the victim what had occurred.
“The student disclosed that the contact had only occurred one time while she was in the former teacher’s class,” Bramlett said.
Hatchett was indicted by a Madison County grand jury in May for a single count of sexual battery and proceeded to trial on Monday, September 18.
“After hearing testimony from both the victim and school personnel,” Bramlett said. “The jury returned a unanimous verdict of guilty.”
Hatchett will be sentenced on Nov. 13, by Judge Steve Ratclifaf.
The mother of the student has filed a suit against Madison County School District alleging that school officials attempted to cover up the incident.
The suit, filed in Madison County Circuit Court on Aug. 11, is against Hatchett and the school district.
The suit alleges MCS officials should have “known of Hatchett’s proclivities for sexual abuse towards minors” and “failed to take any reasonable steps to prevent Hatchett from committing sexual abuse” on school district property.
“The top priority of Madison County Schools is the safety and security of our students. In this case the district took immediate investigative action, placed the accused on administrative leave, and notified local law enforcement,” a statement from Madison County Schools stated after the lawsuit was filed.
“The person in question is no longer employed by the district. The district cannot comment further on ongoing legal and personnel matters.”