GATE CITY — A former Lee County assistant girls soccer coach and guidance counselor was forced to give up his teaching license and resign from his job after pleading guilty recently to charges that he had an improper sexual relationship with an underage student.
Ryan Nathan Turner, 32, of Jonesville, pleaded guilty during a Sept. 6 appearance in Scott County Circuit Court to three counts of consensual sex with a minor age 15 or older and a single count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
As part of a plea deal with the Scott County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, Turner agreed to serve a 40-day jail sentence and complete four years of supervised probation. In addition, Turner had to resign from his position with Lee County Public Schools, forfeit his teaching license and avoid unsupervised contact with minors or the girl involved in the case.
Turner reportedly resigned from Lee County Schools earlier this week.
Turner was scheduled to report for booking at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Duffield by 7 p.m. Friday. According to jail officials, Turner had still not turned himself in by 10 p.m. Friday.
“We made the agreement based on what we though the evidence would be and what we thought we could prove,” Scott County Commonwealth’s Attorney Marcus McClung said. “Under the circumstances, we feel like got the best sentence we could. We feel he should not be teaching under any circumstance, and we are glad that was accomplished.”
McClung said the commonwealth entered the plea agreement with the cooperation victim's mother. McClung added that the results of polygraph test taken by Turner would not have been permitted as evidence for jurors if the case had gone to trial.
Turner was indicted in April 2013 by a Scott County grand jury on three felony counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor while in a supervisory relationship. Those charges were reduced to misdemeanors as part of the plea agreement.
The indictments against Turner stemmed from a relationship he fostered with a student while he was an employee of Lee County Public Schools.
Authorities said Turner was indicted in Scott County since several of the sexual acts took place there between May 1 and June 30, 2012.
Turner reportedly met the girl through his position as a guidance counselor and his role as an assistant soccer coach at Lee High in Jonesville, where she was a member of the team.
Scott County authorities said they were made aware of the sexual relationship after the girl’s mother came forward with the allegations against Turner.