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April 28, 2022 31 mins

Jenifer Faison, a successful reality television producer, waited for love and was thrilled when she reconnected with her college sweetheart 20 years later. They were older but the spark reignited and after a whirlwind courtship Jen and Spencer married and enjoyed a wonderful relationship. Everyone thought Spencer, a two-time “Teacher of the Year” award winner, was the perfect doting, attentive husband. But on June 1, 2018, when Jen arrived home, her husband holding a search warrant. The police soon arrived and took her husband out in handcuffs. It was the last time she has seen him.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
This podcast discusses sexual assault. Please take care while listening.
I want to share a story of a real life
fairy tale gone horribly wrong, A cautionary tale about a
marriage so filled with betrayal and deceit that had set
off a path of destruction that people are still recovering from.
My name is Andrea Gunning and I'm a podcast producer

(00:22):
in Philadelphia. In the summer of twenty nineteen, I had
just wrapped up a project when I met a fellow producer,
Jennifer face In. She pitched a story she thought was
compelling enough to make something of, and it turns out
it was her own story. No information this morning about
a cob County teacher in jail. Spencer Harron, was arrested

(00:42):
Friday at his home in Ackworth. Harron is currently in
the cop County Jail on a fifty five thousand dollar bond.
Spencer was Jennifer's husband of seven years. Twenty years after
dating in college, the stars seem to align and they
reconnected when they decided to get sirious. Jennifer moved from
la where she worked as a television producer, to Acworth, Georgia,

(01:03):
where Spencer was a popular high school teacher. He was
also awarded Teacher of the Year twice. We've learned his
arrest stems from an alleged three year sexual relationship with
a sixteen year old female student, Investigators saying The team
says it started back in twenty sixteen when he allegedly
groped her. It all happened on Kel High School property.

(01:25):
The school's website lists the forty eight year old as
the head of the career type department and a coach.
Jennifer was blindsided. I came home on June first, twenty eighteen.
Spence didn't greet me. Instead, he was sitting on the

(01:46):
couch shaking his head. It's all over. It's all over.
It's all over. Nothing could have been more shocking from
this popular teacher, respected coach, and loving husband. The arrest
unlocked terrible secrets about predatory behavior that went against the

(02:09):
image Spencer Herron fabricated for years, the cheerful neighbor, member
of the Air National Guard. The truth shook a community,
devastated his wife, and sent Spencer Herron to prison. I'm

(02:30):
Andrea Gunning and this is betrayal Episode one. The Perfect Husband.
Spencer and I met at college. I wanted to be
in video production and he was the station manager. And

(02:54):
I'll never forget our first meeting. He said, excuse me,
do you know what time it? And I said, oh,
I don't wear a watch. She said, oh, me either,
And that was kind of like the Inn and I
don't know, it was just one of those things. We
just connected right away. He was a year older than

(03:16):
I was. In him being the station manager, he seemed
so cool to me. I remember I tried out for
anchor that semester and he didn't choose me because he
was afraid that if he did, everybody would know that
he liked me. The were college sweethearts, That's what we were.

(03:38):
We had so much fun. He would always tried to
do surprises for me or make a mixtape. Every day
when we would pass by each other in the hallways,
he would give me a note. He was just very
attentive and he was very caring. I'm Jeffrey Birch, and

(03:59):
this is virgin I'm her stepfather and I am her mom.
She and spent stated in college and she was absolutely
in love with him, and we loved him too. I'm
Karen Basin and I'm John Basin. I'm Jen's father and
I'm Jennifer's stepmother. We thought a lot of it. We

(04:21):
thought he was a wonderful young man. He had a
great personality and you know, just a real down to
earth person, very personable, and michaelbl And a talented fellow.
I mean he was a musician, and I mean he
played trumpet very good. Evidently Jennifer's sister Christie. You know,

(04:43):
when people are in love, they just are beautiful because
they're themselves and someone just totally accepts them for who
they are, and they just shine and they're beautiful. Like
I remember seeing my sister and she was wearing a
red winter coat. She just looked so beautiful, and it

(05:03):
was because she was just so in love. I don't
know when we started calling him Saint Spen's, but there
were a few reasons why he was wonderful to my sister.
When he got up, he was like, does anybody need anything,
or he would go get coffee for my sister. He
was polite and engaged with my mom and my grandparents.

(05:28):
He was really curious about everyone, and he just didn't
do anything wrong. It was my senior year in college
and I wanted to go out and you know, enjoy
my friends and have fun. So we broke up, still
kept in touch. I think I can honestly say I

(05:51):
broke his heart and he was very sad and tried
to get me back. And it wasn't that there was
an anything wrong. It was just not the right time.
So we remained friends, but eventually went our separate ways.
My grandmother was upset. She couldn't believe it. She just

(06:14):
thought Spence was perfect. She thought we were going to
get married after school. My sister cried, She was like,
how could you leave this great, perfect guy. You know,
a lot of people can't understand, but at the time,
that's just how I felt. I wanted to explore. We

(06:38):
dated for a year and a half and it was
one of those relationships where you realized what a good
one looks like. She took her communication degree, She got
into radio and was on the air in Minneapolis. From there,

(06:59):
she decided that she wanted to see if she could
get a producing job in California. She just decided, I'm
going to la and I'm gonna find my mark. Spencer
and Jennifer stayed in touch for a while, Like a
lot of couples, in college. They eventually lost touch and
started their own lives. Jen was on a path, so

(07:21):
we lost touch after that for a long time. I
think partly because he was married and had kids, and
I wanted to respect that and those boundaries in that relationship.
Jennifer was ambitious. She built an impressive resume and reputation
as a talented reality show producer and was even nominated

(07:42):
for three Emmy Awards. You are a Foot to enter
the courtroom of Judge Judith Schindler. She also worked for
Judge Judy. In fact, when was nominated for a time Emmy,
we got to go to New York to walk the

(08:03):
red carpet. After a few years with Judy, Jennifer made
her way from daytime to Primetime Tonight. She ended up
getting a job with Extreme Makeover Home Edition with Ty Pennington,

(08:25):
so she went all over the country. Jen was making
her mark in the industry. She could go from Judge
Judy to Home Makeovers to the Craziness at the Beach.
One of the ones that I was shocked about was
she was doing Jersey Shore. That's what Jennifer excels at
is being able to get along with everybody, keep peace,

(08:46):
amongst everybody, manage their different personalities and then produce a
great show. That's what she's good at. Well, Jennifer was
building an impressive resume. Spencer had built a different life
back in Georgia. Spence got married, had three great kids,

(09:07):
and for many years he was the stay at home
parent who took care of those kids. Kevin, Spence's best friend,
describe Spence as trustworthy and loyal. He's funny, very charismatic.
He came from a big family, so you never had

(09:27):
much like in terms of physical possessions and stuff, so
we always seemed like a simple person. My name is
Rod and I've known Spencer since probably nineteen eighty seventy
sixth grade. Rod and Spencer bonded over shared interests. Our
high school was pretty small. There was probably one hundred

(09:50):
and fifty people in the graduating class. Sloth like that.
I think we were both always top students in top popularity.
I would think Spencer grew up in Avondale Estates, twenty
minutes east of Atlanta. It's kind of confused. Well, Spence's
real father, Spence's real mother. They had this other couple
that was good friends, and both couples I guess you

(10:11):
could say he's blew it up and married each other.
And so Spence has step brothers, real brothers and brothers,
and it was a bunch of It's a little confusing,
but Spence was part of a big blended family. There
were six boys altogether. Well, Jennifer was living her best

(10:36):
life in La Spence was living in Georgia as a
well regarded video production teacher. Julia Sultziak was one of
Spencer's students over a decade ago. She still has fond memories.
My name is Julius. I graduated from cal High School
in twenty ten. I'm going to refer to him as
coach Haarn if that's okay. I've never actually called him Spencers,

(11:00):
So everyone called him co chairn because he was the
soccer coach. He coached girls soccer. Coachaen was my high
school video productions teacher, my junior year and senior year
high school. Everyone who had him loved him. He was
the fun class, the fun teacher, the fun program. You
got to be on the announcements, you know, you got

(11:22):
to work on these cool projects. When Spencer was thirty seven,
he joined the Air National Guard and became part of
the band. He was the oldest person in his boot
camp class and kind of played the role of dad there.
And then, out of the blue, twenty years later, Jen's
first love reached out to her on social media. I

(11:43):
get a message from him on Facebook. He was planning
his college reunion and saw me like a photo or something,
so he reached out to me, Hey, how are you,
how's it going, what are you doing? He told me
that he had kept up with my career and knew
I was in LA And honestly, the first thing that

(12:07):
I wrote to him back was are you still married?
Because I'm not going to get involved with somebody that's married.
That's just not me. He wrote me back immediately said
we split up four years ago. Great. Well, then he says, so,

(12:28):
I know you travel a lot for work. Are you
by any chance going to be in New York City
in December, which was a couple months away. He said,
I'm going to be there with the Decca group from school.
I said, no, you know, I don't usually work in
New York. Then I go to the movies with my
sister two days later and run into my old boss

(12:52):
from Extreme Makeover Home Edition, who says what are you
doing right now? And I said nothing. I was in
between jobs at the time. He said, okay, I need
to fly to New York and you need to help
me out with this show. Said okay, great, I'll do it.
Hopped on a plane and flew out there. So I
emailed Spence and said, hey, guess what, I'm here. I'm

(13:16):
going to be here for about a month, and he said, great,
I would love to see you when you're here, and
maybe you could even come and speak to the students.
So I agreed to do that. One afternoon, rushed home
from work changed try to look as cute as possible.

(13:39):
You know, it's December now in New York and hard
to get a taxi at that time of night, so
I was running late. The taxi drops me off about
two blocks from the hotel because I just figured I
can get there faster if I walk. So I walk
in there and he's kind of leaning up against the wall,

(14:00):
all kind of cool, and he sees me, and I
think both of our faces just light up and gives
me a big hug, and I just I remember thinking, wow,
he looks really good. I just I got butterflies. I
was excited to see him again. And then he and

(14:21):
I went and walked around New York and talked and
learned about each other again, and we sat in this
cute little speakeasy bar. I noticed his sleeve kind of
came up on his jacket, and I saw he had tattoos.

(14:43):
And now I'm not a tattooed person, but for some reason,
this was so sexy to me. You know, now he
was cool and everything. I remembered, everything I remembered. The
two of them walked the city all night long, just
talking and talking and talking, and that's when they said
they just fell in love all over again. I was

(15:05):
on cloud nine. He walked me back to my hotel room. Yes,
he came inside. No, I don't usually do that, but
it was Spence, and I always felt safe with Spence.
I asked him if he could stay, and he said no,
I have to go back because he had to go

(15:25):
back to his student's And the next morning I woke
up and I called my best friend crying because I
was so sad that I may never see him again.
I really thought that was it, and something in me
was really sad about that. But that's not what happened.

(15:46):
The whole New York trip was serendipitous. After twenty years apart,
Jen and Spencer were reconnected, and this time Spencer was
not going to lose her. He continued to pursue me
and text me and call me from Atlanta to LA.
We would be up all night on the phone. So

(16:10):
she went back to LA. He went back to Atlanta
area and they continue with their phone conversations. He had
called us and said that he wanted to marry Jennifer,
and he asked for permission. We said, we've always felt
like your part of the family. You know, you don't
need to ask us, you just need to ask her.

(16:31):
I said, the only thing we ask of you is
that you go to LA and you visit Jennifer and
you see what kind of lifestyle that she was living,
because she was very, very successful in her career, very
successful financially, I'm very established. And so he said, okay,

(16:54):
he would do that because he was going to be
asking her to possibly move to this small little down
in Georgia, pulling her away from LA. And that was
a concern that we had too. Would she be able
to adjustice that fair to her as that going to
affect her career, So we re met in December twenty eleven.

(17:19):
We made the decision pretty quickly that I would move
out there, and I didn't mind doing that. I mean,
it meant giving up a lot. My career was doing great.
I'd really established myself, which in hindsight is a good
thing because I was able to move to Atlanta and
keep working. But his kids were there and that was

(17:41):
important to him, and being a stepchild myself, it was
important to me that he stay as close to the
kids as he could. So I decided I would move there.
I packed up my whole apartment and then he flew
out and we drove my car across the country. Our

(18:03):
first stop was Vegas. He gave me this booklet and
in it were all these photos of the two of us,
some of them from college and then some from New
York and just you know, when we had seen each
other since. And at the very end was a picture
of my grandmother's ring that he had gotten from my mom.

(18:29):
He got down on one knee and he asked me
to marry him, and I was so excited. I wanted
to be able to remember exactly what it felt like
and what it sounded like, so I said, can you
ask me again, and he just laughed and he asked

(18:51):
me again, and of course I said yes. It was
everything that I could have wanted. It was like a movie,
all of the thought and effort Spencer put into their engagement.
She waited so long for love. They were so sweet together.
Like he was very demonstrative with his affection towards her.

(19:15):
You know, he would say, look at Jenn, Look how
cute she looks today. He was always very proud to
talk about her and about her accomplishments and things like that.
He would walk by her and just kiss her on
the top of the head, you know, just was very sweet.
And their little love story was very sweet, and they
loved to tell it. She was traveling, you know, producing
a show and coming back, he would always walk in and,

(19:36):
you know, hug her and say, so glad you're home.
Dinner's friend, Danielle. I mean, he would just say, like, hey, wife,
you know, and he was so proud of that. He
was such a doting husband. Every morning he would leave
me a note by the coffee pot. Every single morning

(19:57):
for six seven years, he would text me during the day.
I'd never worried about where he was or what he
was doing. I really really thought we were living a
fairy tale. Every time the clock would turn on eleven eleven,

(20:18):
I would make a wish, and ever since Spence and
I got back together in New York, the wish was,
I hope Spence and I have a beautiful, long life together.
When the bottom drops out, you usually don't see it coming,
and Jennifer never did. I came home on June first,

(20:42):
twenty eighteen, and Spence did and greet me instead. He
was sitting on the couch in the living room just
shaking his head. So I was joking around with him
because he didn't jump up and say wife, welcome back.
And I walked over to him and he just kept

(21:04):
shaking his head. It's all over, it's all over, it's
all over. I kept expecting him to say, oh, just kidding,
because what could be that wrong that he would be
feeling this way. He slid a piece of paper to me.

(21:26):
I just kind of glanced at it, trying to figure
out what it was, and it said search Warren on top.
I saw the words sexual assault and student. Police arrested
kel High School teacher Spencer Harron on Friday at his

(21:48):
home in Atworth. Investigators say he faces three counts of
sexual assault. Imagine seeing that piece of paper, the search Warren,
and knowing that everything in your life was out to change.
He was charged with sexual assault with one of his
own students. It had started when she was a sophomore

(22:09):
in high school. I got up and stood in front
of him and said, is this true? He said yes,
he said it happened three times dispenses. The last person
that I would have ever guessed would have taken advantage

(22:31):
of a kid, And I think anybody else that knew
him would have said the same thing. To find out
that he cheated on me, not with a woman, but
with a sixteen year old girl, it is so hard

(22:51):
to understand that I just started pacing back and forth,
telling him he ruined everything. He knew how much marriage
meant to me, He knew what it meant to me.
I thought I knew what it meant to him. I

(23:15):
set across from him at that point because I didn't
want to be near him, just trying to make sense
of what just happened. In realizing that life as I
knew it would never be the same. The future that
we planned was gone. It couldn't be true. Not her husband,

(23:41):
the nicest, kindest man in the world. A predator. Not possible,
except it was possible. It happened. It didn't take too
long before I saw two Cobb County police officers drive
past our house. I knew they were on their way

(24:02):
back for Spence. They had already been there once with
the search warrant and busted down our front door. They
took a bunch of his stuff, his computers, hard drives,
and a pair of his underwear. All Spence could talk
about was killing himself at that point. So I sat

(24:26):
down on the coffee table right in front of him
where he was sitting on the couch, and I just
begged him not to do anything stupid. Her life was upended,
Her husband was sitting across from her talking about suicide.
It was all so scary and so much to digest.

(24:47):
Jen felt conflicted by a feeling of obligation to Spence
because of the vows they took. Jennifer repeat after me, I, Jennifer, I,
Jennifer say the Spencer, take the Spencer to be my
wedded husband, To be my wedded husband. I wanted him
to know that somebody would be there for him. From

(25:09):
this day we were married. You're supposed to stick by
your spouse for better or worse, for better, for worse,
till death do us part, till death do us part.
The cops came. I opened up the door and looked

(25:31):
across to Spence and was so relieved when I saw
him walking into the foyer, because if he had run,
I don't know what would have happened. But he turned around.
He let them put the cuffs on him. Even after
seeing the words sexual assault and student on the search warrant,

(25:55):
Jennifer still needed to hear the police say it. I said,
what are you arresting him for? They looked at him like,
is it okay if we tell her? And he yells
out no, don't tell her anything, which is weird because
he'd already admitted what he had done. I guess he

(26:20):
was still hoping to hide stuff. They walked him out
of the house. I shut the door and I couldn't
watch them put him in the back of the car.
And the four year was the last time I've seen him.
Jennifer was trying to process what had just happened. Unfortunately,

(26:43):
what she learned that day was only the tip of
the iceberg. I was on a walk one morning and
I just thought, I need to call Jennifer. When I
got home, I called her. She picked up the phone
and she was like in hysterics and I was like,
what's wrong, and she's like, they took Spencer away. She

(27:05):
wasn't shock. It was like Spence of all people, Spence,
Saint Spence. Jennifer wasn't a problem solving mode. I think
because I was distant from it, I could get into
problem solving mode. My thought was, if it's a student,
it's going to get around really fast. Then my thought was,

(27:28):
oh god, the kids, they worshiped their father, and that
was my thought. I was like, oh my god, do
they know? How are they going to find out social
media these days? He needs to take down his social
media like all of this stuff. My sister called and said,
people are making comments. You've got to go in there
and take down his account. I had never been in

(27:50):
his account before. I never looked at his phone, his text,
his computer, his Facebook, nothing. Ever, I trusted him with
every piece of my being. Never ever, ever would I
have snooped. But I knew Christy was right. So somehow

(28:14):
I got into his Facebook account, which got me into
his email to say what she learned next with shocking
would be an understatement. The student, well, she was one
of dozens of affairs that Spencer had been carrying on
for years, and he was soliciting photos from these women.

(28:34):
I only had to scroll down one row before the
pictures of all these naked women were showing up on
his computer, woman after woman after woman. I literally didn't
know what was happening. Spence would never want women to

(28:55):
send him pictures like this. He wasn't like that. He
was not. No one wants to think that the person
they love that they're married too, has a secret life.
Jen had to face the hard truth her husband had
betrayed her, not once, but every single day of their relationship.

(29:19):
Through this podcast, Jen's about to go on a journey
of discovery she never could have imagined on this season
of Betrayal, Jen's going to talk to the sexual saw victim,
who is an adult now. The first thing he said
to me was, I've never done this with a student.
I've never felt this way about anyone. It's because I

(29:41):
love you that we're doing those. There were dozens of
affairs simultaneously, Some women she knew personally like this. One
put this because it's not very kind towards myself. I
was being used, but I really thought that he loved
me and even Spencer himself. This is a direct pay

(30:04):
call from an inmate at the Cherokee County Jail, Georgia.
The lies, affairs, shame, the broken marriage, and stolen innocence.
We're going to talk about it all on Betrayal. If
you'd like to reach out to the Betrayal team, email

(30:25):
us at Betrayal Pod at gmail dot com. That's Betrayal
Pod at gmail dot com. Betrayal is a production of
Glass Podcasts, a division of Glass Entertainment Group, in partnership
with iHeart Podcasts. The show was executive produced by Nancy
Glass and Jennifer Facon, hosted and produced by me Andrea Gunning,
written and produced by Carry Hartman, also produced by Ben Fetterman.

(30:49):
Our iHeart team is Ali Perry and Jessica Crinchek. Special
thanks to voice actor Todd Gans. Sound editing and mixing
done by Mount DeVecchio. Betrayal's theme was composed by Oliver
Bain's music library provided by my Music and For more
podcasts from iHeart, visit the iHeartRadio app Apple Podcasts or
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