RAVENSWOOD - Ravenswood High School’s band director, Nathaniel M. “Nathan” Corathers, remains lodged in the South Central Regional Jail in lieu of $500,000 bond, following his arrest Monday night on charges of sexual abuse and solicitation of a minor using an electronic device.

The arrest came as part on a continuing investigation by the Jackson County Bureau of Investigation (JCBI) working with Ravenswood Police Department officers including RvHS PRO Tom Speece. Victim advocate Erica Lehew was also involved in the case.

Corathers, 28, was arrested at his residence on Turkey Fork Road, Sandyville, at around 8:30 p.m. Monday, and charged with four counts of alleged sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, custodian or person in a position of trust and four counts of alleged solicitation of a minor via electronic device—all felonies. 

Evidence was seized from the residence and from the RvHS Band Room, according to Jackson County Sheriff Tony Boggs.

Boggs said the investigation that led to the arrest began last week and ramped up Monday with new information being obtained.

Detective Sgt. Eric Cullen of the JCBI spearheaded an ongoing investigation which included Detective Ross Mellinger, Detective Bobby Knox, Deputy Gary Baldwin, Lt. Todd Roberts, Deputy Julia Bowen, Deputy Cameron Saltsgaver, Deputy Brandon Williams, PRO Tom Speece and other members of the JCSD and Ravenswood Police Department. 

Corathers was video arraigned by Magistrate Tom Reynolds Tuesday morning, who set bond at $500,000.    

According to the criminal complaint filed in Jackson County Magistrate Court, investigators met with the parents of a juvenile female who expressed their concern because their daughter and Corathers had sent each other an estimated 5,000-plus text messages since this summer. Many of the suspicious texts were allegedly sent during school hours and some occurred during late night hours. The parents told investigators that a message allegedly sent by Corathers to their daughter was discovered to be  sexually explicit.

The parents also expressed concern over “private” band lessons given by Corathers to their daughter, and other encounters between the two alone at the high school band room during the summer months.

 On Oct. 26, investigators interviewed the alleged victim and she indicated that over the last several months their relationship had intensified and had become sexual. 

The girl told investigators that Corathers had picked her up when she sneaked out of her parents house on numerous occasions and had taken her to his residence, and that other liaisons had occurred at the band room.

Sheriff Boggs said the coordinated investigation is continuing.