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Former Albany teacher sentenced for pandering

Reastgo Holmes sentenced to probation for pandering

ALBANY — Former Westover High School teacher and coach Reastgo Holmes was sentenced Monday to 20 years probation and now must register as a sex offender following a pandering conviction last month.

The sentence was handed down by Dougherty Superior Court Chief Judge Willie Lockette, said Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards.

Holmes was convicted Nov. 15 on one count of pandering — offering money for sex — to a female under the age of 18, officials say. While Holmes had also been charged with two additional counts of pandering of minors and one count of enticing a child for indecent acts, the jury was unable to reach a decision on those counts and returned no verdict.

Because hung verdicts do not violate Holmes’ lawful protection against “double jeopardy,” the prosecution is considering steps for a second trial, specifically for the additional charges, Edwards said last month.

Holmes was charged with the offenses in March 2011 after an investigation by authorities revealed he had solicited a 17-year-old student for sex in return for $200. After the first victim came forward with the complaint that Holmes had texted her for sex, two other girls also reported he had contacted them, reports show.

He was arrested and put up $2,500 for bail before leaving the Dougherty County Jail on March 9, 2011. The Dougherty County School System Police Department, the agency that did the investigation, later put out warrants on Holmes for two counts of felony pandering and two counts of enticing a child for indecent acts in connection to the two other accusations that came to light.

Prior to his arrest, Holmes was a political science teacher who had been working with the school system since 1999. The Dougherty County School Board accepted his resignation after the charges had been filed.

Ahead of the sentencing, Edwards said Holmes could have faced up to 20 years in prison for each convicted count, with a minimum sentence of five years in prison or on probation.