GATE CITY — A former Scott County Public Schools special education teacher accused of abusing a mentally handicapped student who was under her supervision won’t face a jury until early next year after her case was continued Wednesday.
Heather Hogston Lambert, 37, of Mount Carmel, Tenn., was indicted by a Scott County grand jury in April 2013 on a single misdemeanor count of assault and battery of a mentally handicapped student.
Lambert’s jury trial was originally scheduled to begin Wednesday, but was delayed after 30th Circuit Judge John Kilgore granted the Scott County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office’s motion for a continuance.
The charge against Lambert stems from an incident that allegedly occurred on Jan. 10, 2013, at the Scott County Career and Technical Center, which houses several special needs classes.
The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office said at the time that it decided to pursue the charge against Lambert after being contacted by Scott County Schools administrators in regard to the alleged abuse.
At least a portion of the incident, which occurred in front of the Career and Technical Center, was recorded on school surveillance cameras, authorities said.
Authorities declined to give an age or grade due to the fact the alleged victim is a minor. Lambert, who began working with the school system in 2007-08, was employed as a special education teacher until the Scott County School Board accepted her resignation in early March.
A statement put out by the Scott County Schools after Lambert’s indictment stated that administrators cooperated with law enforcement in the investigation.
The incident was investigated by the Scott County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division and the Scott County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.