BIRMINGHAM Ala. (Reuters) - A popular former Alabama high school band teacher suspected of forcing at least eight underage female students into bondage-style sex over a three-year period was arrested in Georgia, authorities said Thursday.
Jeffery Lance Gainous, 32, is suspected of gagging and tying up several of his then-students and using other bondage devices on them both in the band room at T. R. Miller High School in Brewton, Alabama, and at his home, police said.
“I know what kids said about him,” said Brewton Police Chief Monte McGougin said. “They loved him. They say he was great, but this is terrible."
Gainous, who taught at the school in southern Alabama for six years, was arrested on Wednesday in Thomas, Georgia, where he had recently moved to work at a local high school, McGougin said.
Gainous was returned to Brewton on Thursday evening and faces one count of a school employee engaging in a sexual act with a student, with authorities saying the investigation remains in its early stages.
"Others we feel may come forward," McGougin said. "All of these victims, they all tell similar stories."
Gainous has told police he had sex with one of the females and sent text messages of a sexual nature to others, McGougin said.
The investigation began when one of the band teacher's suspected victims, now 20, came forward to authorities, McGougin said, adding that the females were aged between 15 and 17 when McGougin is suspected of abusing them.
In a since-removed biography on his new school's website, Gainous was described as a popular teacher who grew the band program at Miller from 70 to more than 100 students in a school of 340.
It was not immediately clear whether Gainous had retained an attorney.
(Reporting by Verna Gates; Editing by Jonathan Kaminsky and Eric Walsh)