A Rincon man is in custody facing several charges, including child molestation.
Leslie Eugene Pierce, 66, was arrested Tuesday afternoon in Savannah by the Rincon Police Department and booked into the Effingham County Jail. He is being charged with aggravated sodomy, sexual battery, aggravated child molestation and enticing a child for indecent purposes.
Pierce had been a construction teacher at Effingham County High School for five years, but he had not been on the campus since Aug. 12, according to ECHS Principal Yancy Ford. Ford said it did not appear that any of the incidents occurred on school property, based on conversations he had with Rincon investigators.
Pierce graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in political science and education and a master’s in secondary education. He taught in Gainesville, Fla., for one year before earning a teaching certificate in industrial technology from Central Connecticut State University.
He also taught in New Haven, Conn., and Ypsilanti, Mich., where he was director of technical training at Washtenaw Community College. He also worked for the City of Savannah as a plans examiner in its building and development department.
“Based on the background checks we do when we hire people, there was nothing in his file that would have prohibited us from not hiring him or would have led to any type of notion that there was something like this going on elsewhere,” Ford said. “There is nothing that has been brought to my attention by a staff member and nothing has been brought to my attention by a parent or a student that would cause me to not believe he was a competent employee any time in the last five years that he’s been employed here.”
Ford said he has turned over all the proper paperwork to school system human resources director Becky Long and Superintendent Randy Shearouse to move forward with hiring another construction teacher.