Richland School District Two employee arrested in investigation into criminal sexual conduct with a minor

The Long Leaf Middle school employee has been placed on administrative leave
John M Jennings

John M. Jennings
Courtesy: Columbia Police Department

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)– According to the Columbia Police Department, an employee at Longleaf Middle was arrested during an investigation into criminal sexual conduct with a minors. Police say John Meredith Jennings turned himself in on Wednesday, and he is charged with first degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and third degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor.

According to CPD, allegations from 2014-2017 accuse Jennings of sexually assaulting a girl between the ages of 6-9.

Officials say Jennings is also accused of inappropriately touching another girl who was between 10-13-years-old. Police say this incident was reported in March and the Special Victims Unit has been investigating since.

A spokesperson for Richland School District Two released the following statement.

“On Thursday, July 8, 2021, Richland School District Two administrators learned of the arrest of Mr. John Jennings by the City of Columbia Police Department. Mr. Jennings is an employee at Longleaf Middle School. According to information published on the Richland County Fifth Judicial Circuit Public Index online database, Mr. Jennings has been charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor. He has been placed on administrative leave following board policy.”

District and school administrators are very concerned about these charges but at this time we have no information that indicates that the alleged incidents are connected with the school. The City of Columbia Police Department has shared that the alleged incidents occurred between 2014 and 2017 and involved two minor females.”

In a message to Longleaf Middle employees and parents, the school’s principal shared we are taking this very seriously”. Parents who have any concerns about interactions between the employee and their students have been asked to contact the principal.

In Richland Two, nothing is more important than the safety and welfare of our students. District administrators want to assure the entire Richland Two family that we do all we can to make sure our schools remain safe for teaching and learning.”

Categories: Local News, Richland