Former middle school teacher indicted after male student molested, officials say

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HEPHZIBAH, Ga. (WJBF) – Former Hephzibah Middle School teacher, Rumah Byrapaka, was indicted in Richmond County Superior Court Thursday on five charges.

Byrapaka’s charges include:

  • Sexual Contact by Employee or Agent in the First Degree
  • Sexual Contact by Employee or Agent in the Second Degree
  • Child Molestation
  • Child Molestation
  • Enticing a Child for Indecent Purposes

Byrapaka, 24, taught science at Hephzibah Middle School and was arrested in January 2020 following accusations of an inappropriate relationship with a student.

She allegedly sent nude photos and explicit text messages to one of her 13-year-old male students, according to authorities. The texts discussed kissing and sexual touching, warrants said. Byrapaka was also accused of luring the student from his classroom to another room on campus where she allegedly molested him.

The incident report says the teacher was caught sending her student five photos through Instagram. Two of the photos revealed Byrapaka’s breast, the report said.

An affidavit says that Byrapaka promised her student “tongue kissing and the touching of her feminine parts.” The report also says she “engaged in kissing and indecent touching with the victim.”

The mother of the 13-year-old student initially reported the incident, officials said.

Initially, Byrapaka was granted a $25,000 bond on child molestation charges and enticement of a child for indecent purposes.

Because of her charges and since she was in the U.S. on a student visa, ICE placed a hold on her in the event she was able to post bail.

She has been at the Charles B. Webster detention center since her arrest on Jan. 16, 2020. Byrapaka’s arraignment is expected to take place in the coming weeks.


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