Crime & Courts

Fired Airport High assistant principal has family’s ‘abundant’ support, attorney says

A former Airport High School assistant principal accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a student has always had “glowing performance reviews” and has “abundant support of family and friends,” her attorney said in court Monday.

During a hearing in Lexington, Magistrate Brian Buck set a personal recognizance bond for Dawn Diimmler, 44, at $30,000. Diimmler won’t have to post the money unless she fails to show up in court. Her next court hearing is set for April 5 at 9 a.m.

Diimmler faces two charges of sexual battery with a student – one each with the Columbia Police Department and the Cayce Department of Public Safety – on allegations that she engaged in a relationship with a Airport High School student while she was the school’s assistant principal. The student graduated 2017.

She surrendered to authorities in Columbia on Saturday and was taken to the Lexington County jail on Sunday to face the Cayce charge.

Her attorney, Debbie Barbier, said in court that Diimmler is “not a danger to the community” and is not at risk of fleeing the community to avoid prosecution.

Cayce police say Diimmler had sex with the student twice at the school during their three-month relationship in 2017. Additionally, Columbia police say Diimmler had sex with the student outside of school in the Columbia city limits.

Diimmler faces up to five years in prison for each of the charges, if convicted.

Diimmler’s Feb. 12 firing came after an investigation into allegations she was involved in an “unprofessional relationship with a student.” During that investigation, the district uncovered information that indicated possible criminal activity and notified Cayce police on Jan. 30, officials have said.

Airport High School principal Brad Coleman was placed on administrative leave the same day as Diimmler. He remains on leave and is still principal, officials have said.

There has been no word on what prompted Coleman’s leave or how it is related to Diimmler’s alleged relationship with the student.

Related stories from The State in Columbia SC