Fairfax County Police Department arrested 51 year old Marc D. Chatham on Wednesday, January 20th for alleged sexual abuse of a student in 1994 and 1995.
He has been charged with two counts of forcible sodomy of a victim under twelve, aggravated sexual assault of a victim under thirteen, and producing obscene materials involving a minor.
The assaults took place while Cheatham was a teacher at Barden Elementary School, where he taught from 1993-1998.
At the time of the arrests, he was teaching at Holmes Middle School. Cheatham has taught in Fairfax County Public Schools for 29 years, at various schools including Mount Eagle Elementary School in 1992-1993, Fort Belvoir Elementary School in 1998-2000, Groveton Elementary School from 2000-2004, Lorton Station Elementary School (2004-2006), Terra Centre Elementary School from 2006-2010 and Newington Forest Elementary School from 2010-2017.
Holmes Middle School Principal Margaret Barnes issued the following statement in response to the news.
“This news is very upsetting to all of us. The primary responsibility for FCPS is always the safety and wellbeing of our students. We will continue to be diligent in our efforts to provide a safe learning environment, and we commit to swift action any time we are made aware of a potential violation of the trust between our students and staff.” The school is cooperating fully with the police.
Cheatham is currently being held at the County’s Adult Detention Center without bond.
Cheatham is the fifth FCPS teacher to be arrested for having sexual contact with a student in the last three years. Philip Spivey, 57, a Justice High School teacher, was arrested in January of 2020 on four felony charges. Daniel Kim, 29, of Oakton was arrested in November 2019 for an inappropriate sexual relationship with his student at Fairfax High School. Ryan Thomas Pick of Cameron Elementary School in Alexandria was charged with five felony counts of using a communication system for crimes against children in August 2019. Raphael Schklowsy, Herndon High School Drama teacher was found to be in possession of over three thousand videos containing child pornography in May 2019.
Mr. Cheatham’s case is unique, however, because his alleged crimes were committed almost two decades ago.
Anyone who has information about this investigation or may have had inappropriate contact with Cheatham is encouraged to call the FCPD Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800. According to the official website for FCPD news, “Victim specialists from our Major Crimes Bureau’s Victim Services Division have been assigned to ensure that the victim is receiving appropriate resources and assistance.”