Cheatham was charged with two counts of forcible sodomy on a victim under the age of 12, aggravated sexual assault on a victim under 13 and producing obscene materials involving a minor, police said.
“The investigation revealed there may have been digital recordings of the assaults,” said Anthony Guglielmi, a Fairfax County police spokesman. “These allegations if proven are atrocious. The detectives have worked methodically on this case.”
Cheatham has continued to teach in Fairfax County Public Schools and was most recently at Holmes Middle School, where he had been working since 2017, police said. Margaret Barnes, principal of Holmes, wrote in a letter to families that Cheatham had been placed on unpaid administrative leave and was a sixth-grade social studies and history teacher.
“This news is very upsetting to all of us,” Barnes wrote. “The primary responsibility for FCPS is always the safety and wellbeing of our students. We will continue to be diligent in our efforts to provide a safe learning environment and we commit to swift action any time we are made aware of a potential violation of the trust between our students and staff.”
Police said Cheatham also taught at Mount Eagle Elementary School from 1992 to 1993, Fort Belvoir Elementary School from 1998 to 2000, Groveton Elementary School from 2000 to 2004, Lorton Station Elementary School from 2004 to 2006, Terra Centre Elementary School from 2006 to 2010 and Newington Forest Elementary School from 2010 to 2017.
Cheatham is being held without bond at the Fairfax County jail.
No attorney was listed for him in court records, and someone who answered a phone number listed for his family declined to comment on the charges.