Georgia v. MorrowAnnotate this Case
Robert Morrow was tried by jury and convicted of sexual assault under OCGA 16-6-5.1(b)(1). Morrow had been employed as a paraprofessional at River Ridge High School in Woodstock, where he was assigned to attend to a student with special needs, “P.M.” Morrow appealed his conviction and the Court of Appeals reversed, finding that the State failed to show that Morrow had specific authority over P.M. (as required by statute), and that the evidence was insufficient to sustain the conviction. The Georgia Supreme Court issued a writ of certiorari to review the decision of the Court of Appeals, and concluded that the State could carry its burden of proving supervisory or disciplinary authority by evidence of general or specific authority. Here, the State came forward with evidence that Morrow had some general supervisory or disciplinary authority over students in P. M.’s math class, and so, the Court of Appeals erred when it reversed his conviction on that ground. However, the Court concluded the State failed to prove that Morrow was a “teacher, principal, assistant principal, or other administrator of any school,” and for that reason, Morrow’s conviction could not stand. The Court of Appeals was affirmed, but on different grounds.