By Monica Land
PASCAGOULA – A former Ocean Springs Middle School teacher and wrestling coach has pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual battery involving a student.
Grady Brown, 35, was teaching seventh-grade math and coaching when he was accused in April 2011 of having a sexual relationship with a then-13-year-old girl over a three-month period.
Brown was fired shortly after his arrest.
Friday, Brown made the guilty pleas before Jackson County Circuit Judge Kathy King Jackson, the Sun Herald reported.
The Jackson County District Attorney's Office said the student wanted a plea agreement to avoid the “trauma of trial.''
Lt. John Flowers, of the Ocean Springs Police Department, said an investigation was launched on April 25, 2011 after they were told “Brown was having an affair with a female student.”
The next day, investigators interviewed several students at the school who all admitted they knew Brown and the student were having a sexual relationship.
“[Our] investigators learned that Coach Brown was heard speaking to the female student about having sex with her,” Flowers said then. “We also learned the Ocean Springs School District had conducted its own investigation into the reported sexual relationship between Coach Brown and the student and he was placed on administrative leave [pending the investigation].”
Flowers said the alleged sexual assaults occurred within the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department’s jurisdiction and a joint investigation began.
A search warrant was issued for Grady’s home and several items of “evidentiary value” were collected, Flowers said.
A second search warrant was obtained on April 28, 2011 after Flowers said they became aware of new information in the case.
“Additional items were collected, interviews were conducted and a warrant was issued for the arrest of Grady Brown,” said Flowers.
Brown faces up to 90 years in prison sentence. He remains free on bond until his sentencing which is set for Sept. 5.