After nearly five years of maintaining his innocence, former North Oconee High School teacher and Morgan County High School Assistant PrincipalRyan Rickard, 37, formerly of Bishop, has finally admitted that he sexually preyed on underage girls across three counties. 

Last week, Rickard pleaded guilty to multiple counts of sexual assault against a student. He victimized girls ranging in age from 14 to 16 years old in Oconee, Morgan and Walton counties. By pleading guilty, he admits to the following criminal acts against these girls: kissing, vaginal penetration with his fingers, engaging in oral sex and intercourse and asking them or allowing them to perform sexual acts on him.  

As part of a plea deal, Rickard will serve a concurrent 15 years in prison for all charges brought against him, meaning he gets no additional time behind bars for crimes committed against more than one juvenile victim. 

Once released from prison, Rickard will spend 10 years on probation and will be on the sex-offender registry. He

will not be allowed to have contact with minors, though an exception was made for his own children. 

When then-34-year-old Rickard was arrested July 6, 2018, the charges brought against him initially were multiple counts of sexual assault by persons with supervisory or disciplinary authority, sexual battery and one count of rape. 

The plea deal he took on Feb. 23 was agreed upon by three judicial circuits.

For more on this story, see the March 2 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores and grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, call (706) 769-5175 or visit the tab on our website.

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