FRIENDSVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A former instructor at Maryville Rock Academy and Friendsville resident was charged having sexual encounters with a 16-year-old female student while he was her vocal instructor.
Blount County Sheriff James Lee Berron said Jeremy Cook, 34, was charged with two counts of statutory rape by an authority figure.
Cook was a teacher at the academy and also performs vocals and ukulele for the Maryville band “I’m in Trouble.” He resigned from the academy in the summer of 2015.
The victim told deputies Cook befriended her on Facebook after she became a student at the academy. She said he began messaging and calling her on a regular basis.
On two separate occasions, the victim said Cook drove to her house, picked her up, drove her back to his home, and engaged in sexual activity, according to the Blount County Sheriff’s Office. They said the girl and her parents reported the incident in January 2016.
Cook is currently being held on a $150,000 bond. A hearing in Blount County General Sessions Court is scheduled for March 23 at 9 a.m.
The sheriff’s office is asking that if any other juveniles were victimized by Cook to please contact the Sheriff’s Office Investigations Unit at 865-273-5001 during regular business hours.
According to their Facebook Page, Maryville Rock Academy, located in Alcoa, provides personalized guitar, bass, vocal, drum, keyboard and piano lessons. They also create rock bands with students.