CITRONELLE, Alabama (WALA) – Citronella and Washington County investigators reveal more about former teacher William “Billy” Gardner, who was arrested Friday on charges of having had conversations with a teenage girl for several years .

Citronelle Police and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office say the victim, a 15-year-old girl, was Gardner’s student when she was in 6th grade at Leroy High School when he taught there between 2017-18 .

Two weeks ago, the victim’s father went to the police after finding disturbing text messages on his phone.

Gardner is accused of soliciting a child and distributing obscene images.

Investigators firmly believe there are more victims who could be adults now.

They beg them to come forward.

“We have reason to believe that there are multiple victims in this case and we want to make sure that we give those victims the opportunity to come forward.”

Since 1999, Gardner has taught and coached football at seven schools in Washington, Mobile and Baldwin counties, some more than once, until investigators say his teaching license was revoked in 2018.

“We believe this could have been stopped many years ago if appropriate action had been taken then and we believe that most likely some things were ignored or brushed under the rug,” said the head of Citronella Police, Tyler Norris.

Chief Norris did not say what action could have been taken and by whom.

A search warrant was executed at Gardner’s home when he was arrested on Friday.

Investigators have found 15 devices, including computers and phones, which are currently undergoing forensic analysis.

FOX10 News contacted all school systems with which Gardner was employed.

So far we have only heard from Mobile and Baldwin counties.

MCPSS says Gardner has resigned from the school system.

BCPS said, “We can confirm that he was employed by the Baldwin County Public School System from August 2007 to May 2008. We will cooperate fully with authorities upon request.”

William “Billy” Gardner teaching / coaching schedule:

Fall 1999 – Fall 2002 Citronelle HS

Spring 2003 – Spring 2007 Satsuma HS

Fall 2007 – Spring 2008 Baldwin County HS

Fall 2008 – Spring 2010 Jackson HS

Fall 2010 – Spring 2011 Millry HS

Fall 2011 – 2012 Citronelle HS

Summer 2014 – Spring 2015 Millry HS

Fall 2015 – Spring 2017 Chickasaw HS

Spring 2017 – Spring 2018 Leroy HS

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