Former Forsyth sheriff’s captain guilty of groping teenage student
Former Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office deputy Frank Huggins guilty on charges of sexual assault and battery for touching a 16-year-old girl’s inner thigh in 2016 by Judge Bagley. Mr. Huggins was acting as her driving instructor at the time of the assault.
Elected Chief Superior Court Judge Bagley handed down two guilty verdicts against Huggins. Huggins served as sheriff’s office spokesman until 2010, when he retired. Huggins will not be facing prison time, instead the judge on sentenced him to 10 years of probation and ordering him to register as a sex offender.
The 76 year old resident of Cumming, was arrested by the sheriff’s office on Oct. 4, 2016. The victims mother notified police that he inappropriately touched her daughters ” inner thigh” as working as a driving instructor at Lanier Technical College. Consequentially Huggins was immediately terminated from his position at the college after the assault was reported.
Chief Assistant District Attorney Sandra Partridge laid out to the court how the month prior to his arrest, Huggins gave the victim a driving lesson, which turned into a two an a half hour assault where he repeatedly touched the ten in appropriately on her leg, inner thigh, back and neck. Luckily the behavior and assault was captured on the cars dash cam.
Partridge also said that during the lesson on Sept. 6, Huggins also peppered the girl with “creepy sexual” conversation, commenting on her attractiveness, her boyfriend and telling her that he “would go to the beach with her, if she drove.”
The treatment by Huggins made the victim so uncomfortable that the girl texted her mother, “HELP” and ended the session early after Huggins took her to his home in Cumming.
Both the victim and victims mother took the stand. Outlining what took place that made them want to seek help. On the stand the victim stated she immediately started to feel uncomfortable when he touched her leg as he adjusted her steering wheel and made random small talk.
She said that she didn’t speak up initially because she hoped it wouldn’t happen again. ““I just thought that it would blow over and nothing would happen again,” the girl said.
The state played the entire 2 hour ordeal for the court. Corroborating each of the victims accounts of unwanted contact by the predator Mr. Huggins. The video which recorded audio also displayed the multiple inappropriate statements made to the victim by Huggins.
Huggins’ attorney Rafe Banks II, like all sleazy lawyers downplayed the assault by saying that the touching is considered acceptable between a teacher and underage student. Stating that the perceived touching of the girl’s “inner thigh” was Huggins taking control of the wheel or tapping the girl’s leg to indicate turns. Which makes no sense
“Driving instructors sometimes have to take control of the steering wheel, it is part of the process,” Banks said. “See if you see what she says happened, because it is not there … You’re not going to see what the state says happened.”
Banks also tried to downplay statements about Huggins’ “creepy” conversations with the girl, reminding the court that Huggins’ conversation was not part of the charges against his client.
“I get that she may have been uncomfortable but Mr. Huggins is not charged with making her uncomfortable,” Banks said.
“She’s 16 (years) three months old and he’s 70 something, and he’s in control of her life, completely in control,” Partridge said. “I stand here in 2019 and the argument is, ‘She didn’t act like she was being assaulted.’ She didn’t act the way that Mr. Banks believes she should have … There is no specific way an assault victim acts. There is no specific way that a 16-year-old is supposed to behave when a 70-year-old man, whose got her trapped in a car, is putting his hand on her inner thigh.”
Judge Bagley ultimately sided with the state, no denying what is laid out in front of you on film. Citing he believed that Huggins had acted inappropriately and had committed the acts that he was accused of.
“I think that Mr. Huggins made some very poor decisions that day. I think he took advantage of a young girl in that vehicle,” Judge Bagley said.
Huggins was sentenced to 10 years probation by Judge Bagley. He will have to register as a sex offender and he has been barred from teaching or having authority over any other person.
Huggins displayed predatory behavior , and he used the opportunity to take advantage of a young girl, that was under his supervision. He got off with a light sentence with not having to spend time in jail for his actions.
Was it his age or previous connections to the court, that granted him the opportunity to spend his “glory years” at home an not in prison.?