Former Ole Miss astronomy teacher charged with sexual battery of high school student

Posted on Sep 19 2017 - 2:33pm by Lana Ferguson

A former Oxford High School physics teacher, James “Jim” Reidy Jr., was arrested and charged with sexual battery by a person having authority over the victim. He taught astronomy labs in the University of Mississippi’s Department of Physics and Astronomy until the beginning of this semester.

Courtesy: Oxford High School website

Reidy and his attorney, Tony Farese, appeared at the Lafayette County Circuit Court on Monday afternoon for a scheduled probable cause hearing. Reidy, through his attorney, waived his right to the hearing, The Oxford Eagle reported.

A warrant was issued for Reidy’s arrest after Circuit Court Judge Andrew Howorth read over the criminal affidavit by the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department. Bond is set at $25,000.

Reidy reported to the Lafayette County Detention Center after the hearing.

According to The Oxford Eagle, Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department Chief Investigator Alan Wilburn said the sheriff’s department received a call last Monday from the Oxford Police Department with information from the Department of Human Services hotline that a teacher at Oxford High School was having sex with a student. However, the sexual acts were allegedly occurring outside of Oxford city limits in Lafayette County.

Wilburn said the survivor is 17 now, but the relationship began when she was 16.

“She is cooperating with us and the district attorney’s office,” Wilburn said.

Before being terminated from the Oxford School District, Reidy worked as an AP chemistry and physics teacher for more than 20 years. He won multiple awards, including being inducted into the STAR Teacher Hall of Fame in Mississippi in 2015.

The case will go before the Lafayette County Grand Jury in February.

– Lana Ferguson