FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — A former metro Atlanta teacher has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, with no eligibility for parole, after he pleaded guilty last week to charges of rape, aggravated child molestation, false imprisonment and two counts of child molestation.
Robert Vanel, 64, had been previously employed as a teacher at the Fulton Academy of Science and Technology (FAST) Charter School in Roswell and Lyndon Academy in Holly Springs.
On Sept. 2, 2021, the Roswell Police Department arrested Vandel on a number of sexual assault charges. Vandel had been initially arrested on rape and other charges for assaulting a student at FAST. He then faced additional charges linked to a second victim, according to police. Vandel was teaching at Lyndon Academy at the time of his arrest.
Warrants from Fulton County claim Vandel was having online chats with several students while at FAST. It also stated Vandel's classroom used to be in a trailer outside of the main building, and several students were seen going to the trailer during recess, lunch, and after school. The warrant also stated Vandel kept roaches, lizards, and a hedgehog in his classroom to encourage students to spend time there when they weren't in class. It also claimed Vandel gave students candy and ice cream when they visited his classroom.
In addition to his sentencing, Vandel will spend the rest of his life on probation and on the sex offender registry.
"He will not be allowed any unsupervised contact with minors, no contact with the victims or their families, and will never be able to serve in a capacity where he will have access to children," Roswell Police wrote in a Facebook post.
A plea agreement was also reached as a result of efforts between the District Attorney's Office, the victims and their families.
"The decision was ultimately driven by a mutually-shared goal of sparing two children the re-traumatization of a lengthy criminal trial, and preventing any further trauma and intrusion into their lives," the police department wrote.
Vandel now faces additional criminal charges in Cherokee County.