CANTON – Former science teacher 65-year-old Robert Allen Vandel, of Canton, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for two counts of child molestation involving a middle schooler who attended Lyndon Academy in Holly Springs.
Acting District Attorney Susan K. Treadaway announced the guilty plea on March 9.
Vandel admitted to intentionally making physical contact with the child’s intimate parts, including pressing his body against her and smacking her buttocks with a ruler. He had previously taught at the school, and had been arrested in Roswell in September 2021 for a sexual assault that occurred in a Fulton County school the previous year.
During the plea hearing, the victim delivered an impact statement, describing the impact of the abuse on her life. “I’m always thinking about what happened to me and what could’ve happened to me if he wasn’t caught,” she said.
Chief Assistant District Attorney Katie Gropper said Vandel engaged in “methodical and manipulative grooming in order to begin the process of victimizing this child through the introduction of sexualized touches.”
The Holly Springs Police Department initiated an investigation after Vandel’s arrest in Roswell, and a 7th grade student at Lyndon Academy submitted to a forensic interview, revealing Vandel’s grooming tactics.
Vandel had previously pled guilty to rape, aggravated child molestation, false imprisonment, and child molestation in Fulton County in May 2022, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison followed by life on probation with sex offender special conditions. The Cherokee County sentence is concurrent to the Fulton County sentence.
The Office of the District Attorney for the Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit is committed to seeking justice and collaborating with partner agencies to protect the citizens of Cherokee County and the State of Georgia. To report suspected child abuse, call Child Protective Services at 855-422-4453, or call 911 if the child is in immediate danger.