Unicoi County High School substitute teacher charged with statutory rape


An Elizabethton man is behind bars after police say he admitted to having a relationship which included sexual contact with a 16-year-old student.

According to Erwin Police Chief Regan Tilson, authorities received information on August 9 that there was an inappropriate relationship between 35-year-old Justin Curtis Grindstaff and a student. An investigation was initiated by the Erwin Police Department, Unicoi County Director of Schools John English and Unicoi County High School Principal Chris Bogart.

Police said that the investigation confirmed a relationship between Grindstaff and the student. Grindstaff was serving as a substitute teacher and drum instructor. Grindstaff was interviewed on August 10 which is when police say he admitted to having a relationship with the juvenile which included sexual contact.

Grindstaff was arrested and charged with two counts of statutory rape by an authority figure.

Unicoi County Schools said they terminated Grindstaff's employment immediately after they learned details about the investigation.