North Fulton County

Former school director, several employees indicted on child cruelty charges

NORTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — There are new developments involving a former director of a school for troubled youth in Roswell who is accused of stealing thousands from parents.

This week, a grand jury indicted Rommys Beltran on dozens of charges including cruelty to children, theft and insurance fraud.

Channel 2 Action News has been following this case since 2015 after employee and parents started to complain. In early 2016, Beltran was arrested on more than 18 charges, including theft, fraud and tampering with physical evidence, all stemming from her time running Advancing Youth Academy on Holcomb Bridge Road.

“I just don't want this to happen to anyone else,” parent Rhonda Repasz said in 2016. "She deceived us. She lied to us, and that's wrong."

Repasz said when it came time to move her son back to public school, she learned Advancing Youth Academy wasn't accredited and none of the work her son completed at the school counted.

"Justice needs to be done,” she said.

Attorney Douglas Rohan represents a number of former Advancing Youth Academy families.


"First and foremost, we'd like to see justice done for these families,” Rohan said. "The parents ultimately brought their children to this school because they were at their wits end. They knew they couldn't keep getting suspended in school, and they thought this was their last chance to make sure they got an education."

Grand jurors also indicted five of Beltrans' former employees on cruelty to children and battery charges stemming from accusations of using corporal punishment on students, including handcuffing and pepper-spraying some students.

Rohan said parents want the former Advancing Youth Academy employees to pay.

"They have been suffering the guilt of putting their kids in this situation for many years. They've been waiting for Fulton County to decide whether they wanted to move forward with the prosecution of this case,” Rohan said.

Jail records show Beltran and the other defendants are not yet in jail.

Beltran could also face a civil lawsuit. Rohan met with several of his clients Thursday night to discuss the case.

More than a dozen plaintiffs could be filing suits over the next several months.

Channel 2's Mike Petchenik reached out to Beltran's Alpharetta-based attorney for a comment, but no one got back to him by the time of publication of this story.

In 2016, Beltran told Channel 2 Action News the situation was all a misunderstanding and she looked forward to a trial to vindicate her.