GBI Press Release:
Watkinsville, GA – On Friday, July 6, 2018, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arrested Ryan Rickard, 34, on multiple counts of Sexual Assault by Persons with Supervisory or Disciplinary Authority, Sexual Battery, and one (1) count of Rape. The charges were taken in three (3) separate counties to include Walton, Oconee, and Morgan.
Rickard had previously been under federal investigation for attempting to access child pornography online. The GBI’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit (CEACC) was requested by Homeland Security Investigations to assist with the investigation because it had elements of federal crimes as well as state crimes. The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia has been assisting with the investigation throughout its entirety as well.
“Child sexual abuse inflicts life-long mental and physical scars on its victims and the added abuse of power in this case makes the crime even more egregious,” said Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations Atlanta Nick Annan. “HSI is appreciative of its longstanding partnership with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in the fight against child sexual exploitation, and we are committed to continuing this important work with our federal, state and local partners to find and prosecute abusers while rescuing the victims of these terrible crimes.”
GBI Special Agent in Charge, and Commander of the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, Debbie Garner stated “this type of cooperation and collaboration is invaluable in the effort to keep our children safe from predators who seek to harm them. This successful investigation was a partnership between all the agencies involved. We will continue to aggressively work together to protect our children.”
Rickard was an Assistant Principal at Morgan County High School in Madison, Georgia until he resigned in 2018. Prior to that assignment, he was a teacher at North Oconee High School in Watkinsville, Georgia. Rickard was also a teacher and Athletic Director at Memorial Middle School in Conyers, Georgia and was a student teacher at Burke County High School.
Agents have identified three (3) students that were victims of Rickard’s while he was teaching. Agents believe that there may be additional victims. Anyone with information is asked to call the GBI CEACC Unit at 404-270-8870 or by email at Tips@gbi.ga.gov or HSI at 404-346-2300.