A Madison County school teacher faces felony aggravated assault charges following his recent arrest in Athens.
Joe Allan Barnett, 27, of Athens was arrested Sept. 28 on a charge of battery and two counts of aggravated assault. He was released from the Clarke County Jail the next day on a $7,900 bond.
Barnett, who is also head coach for the Madison County Cross Country team, taught at the same elementary school as the victim, whom he had been dating, according to police.
Madison County Superintendent of Schools Allan McCannon said Tuesday that Barnett is currently on leave and not teaching.
The assault occurred Sept. 16 at Barnett’s home in Athens, where the victim told police she discovered Barnett had been cheating on her and she woke him in anger. She broke Barnett’s cell phone and he responded by pushing her to the floor and choking her to the point she could not breathe, according to the report.
Barnett then choked her for a second time, according to the report. The victim took photographs of injuries on her neck and arm and provided this to police when she filed a report on Sept. 26.
The 37-year-old woman told police she notified school officials on Monday following the incident and school administrator ordered Barnett to cease contact with the woman, but further action could only be taken if she filed a police report.