Gainous pleas, gets 3 years
Published 4:43 pm Tuesday, November 11, 2014
The former T. R. Miller band director accused of having deviant sex with students pleaded guilty Friday to one felony and two misdemeanors. He will now spend the next three years in the county jail.
Jeffrey Lance Ganious appeared in an orange jumpsuit and shackles before Circuit Judge Jeff White and was represented by J. Clark Stankoski. His parents and another family member attended for support – his father, at times, rubbing a small leather bound Bible for comfort.
Gainous, or “Mr. G.” as he was known to students, was accused of having sexting conversations with at least six victims, as well as well as tying up at least two teenage girls and gagging them using ropes and other bondage devices during sex. Incidents reportedly occurred inside the school band room and at Gainous’ former home in Brewton.
Gainous left TRM after six years to head the band program at Thomas County, Ga., Central High School in June. He was terminated from the system upon his arrest.
On Friday, Gainous pleaded to one count of teacher having sexual act with a student, a class B felony, and two counts of sexual contact with a student. As per a plea agreement, Gainous was given a 20-year suspended sentence. He is to serve three years in the Escambia County Jail. Once released, he will have five years of supervised probation and be required to register as a convicted sex offender.
The conviction stems from a June 1 incident when Gainous and an unnamed victim had “partial intercourse” and engaged in a sex act.
District Attorney Steve Billy said the plea was a “good one for the state and for the victims.”
“The public may think it’s a piddly sentence, but in truth, it’s a good one for the state, for the victims and for him,” Billy said. “And, serving time at the county jail is not something new (for people convicted of felonies). It’s been done before.”
Staknoski said to serve time at the county jail was made at his clients request and was a “deal breaker” if not granted.
“As with any client, the first time one is incarcerated, it is difficult, and with one being accused of sex crimes, there is a risk at the department of corrections,” he said. “(Gainous) didn’t need the added punishment of DOC.”
Since Gainous pleaded guilty in the case, he waived any right for appeal.