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Concord man charged in Blount Co.

While a neighbor of Robert Paul Talley in Kensington subdivision, Concord, said Talley “seemed like a great guy for sure,” that neighbor added, “I had been gone and my wife told me what happened, and I was like, ‘Oh my goodness.’”

That was one reaction to “nine capias warrants following accusations of inappropriate sexual relations with students” leveled against Talley, a former Alcoa High School history teacher/girls softball coach, according to a press release from Alcoa Police Chief Ken Burge.

Turning himself in to APD Dec. 5, Talley, 40, was indicted by a Grand Jury earlier that day on five counts of statutory rape by an authority figure, two counts of sexual battery by an authority figure and two counts of solicitation of a minor for sexual battery by an authority figure.

According to the Grand Jury true bill, Talley’s alleged offenses date back to March 19, 2010.

Concerning the level of anger from AHS parents toward Talley, APD Detective Kris Sanders, who is leading the investigation, said it’s his understanding “there are some parents that are angry, and some parents that appear to be supportive of Mr. Talley.

“I think a lot of the parents are trying to just wait and see what the outcome of everything is,” Sanders added.

An arraignment hearing, scheduled for Monday, Dec. 12, in Blount County Circuit Court, Division II — where Talley would enter a plea and possibly have a trial date set — was reset for Feb. 10.

“At this time there are no other charges pending; the investigation is still open and still moving forward,” Sanders said. “I believe we’re developing a good case.”

Brian Bell, director of schools for Alcoa City Schools whose roughly 24-hour investigation led to Bell suspending Talley Oct. 26, confirmed that AHS principal Scott Porter notified him Oct. 25 of conduct questions related to Talley.

Bell said he first learned of “inappropriate texts” associated with Talley.

Also on Oct. 25, “A former student came forward and presented information about what had happened in the past,” Bell added, confirming Talley resigned from AHS Oct. 27 after 17 years at the school.

“We just did a quick little internal investigation to get more details, a little deeper,” Bell said. “I didn’t know if it was criminal activity or not, but the possibility was there so I turned it over to the attorney general in Blount County [Mike Flynn], who contacted the Alcoa City Police to start an investigation.”

First hired as a teaching assistant in 1994, Talley “became a teacher in 1999” and also coached football, Bell said.

Before these charges, Bell said Talley had “a pretty clean record” in terms of teaching/

coaching conduct, except for “a few very, very minor infractions, and that was it. Nothing out of the ordinary.”

Married with children, Talley was released from Blount County Justice Center Dec. 5 on a $150,000 bond according to a justice center spokesman.

As for reaction from AHS and City Schools officials, “I would say it’s on the level of sadness,” Bell said. “We view it as a tragedy that this happened.”

Repeated attempts to contact Flynn or Talley’s attorney, Donald Bosch, were unsuccessful.


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