Choir director admits to sex charges

Choir director admits to sex charges

Appearing before the Charlottesville Circuit Court on June 26, Jonathan Spivey entered into a plea agreement that has the former Charlottesville High School choir director facing up to 20 years in prison. Spivey, who’s married and a father of two, was indicted by a grand jury in November on seven counts of custodial indecent liberties with a minor, stemming from a series of incidents with four former students, all male, spanning almost six years. Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Elizabeth Killeen provided details of the encounters at the June 25 hearing.

Former CHS Choir Director Jonathan Spivey entered a plea agreement last week after a November indictment on charges of sexual misconduct with students.

The first reported incidents began during the 2000-2001 school year, when Spivey initiated a sexual relationship with a then 17-year-old student that included at least 20 sexual encounters during his senior year at CHS. A police investigation into the matter was closed at the time after both Spivey and the victim denied any sexual contact. Another victim had a sexual relationship with Spivey during the 2003-2004 school year that included at least eight incidents of contact.

The current investigation of Spivey did not begin until September 18, 2006, when a third victim brought a complaint to Principal Kenneth Leatherwood after Spivey had detained the CHS senior in his office for almost two hours, during which he made multiple sexual proposals. While the focus of sexual talk from Spivey, the final victim did not have any physical contact with him.

In his agreement, Spivey pled guilty to the 2000-2001 incidents. On three other counts, he submitted Alford pleas, in which a defendant does not admit guilt but concedes the state has enough evidence for a conviction. The remaining three counts were nullified. Spivey, who has been out on $50,000 bond since his indictment, will be sentenced on September 27. If given the maximum on all four counts, he could serve up to 20 years; however, prosecutors contend that he will likely face no more than one to two.

Spivey was also music minister at Mt. Zion First African Baptist Church, and as of press time, he was still listed on a staff page. Pastor (and city School Board Chair) Dr. Alvin Edwards could not be reached to clarify Spivey’s role at the church.—with additional reporting by Meg McEvoy

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