Local News

Additional lawsuit filed against former Fayetteville principal, Cumberland school board

Posted July 8

David Ellis Edwards

— A second lawsuit has been filed against a former Fayetteville principal accused of molesting male students and the Cumberland County Board of Education.

The suit, filed July 1 on behalf of a former student who is now 16-years-old, alleges David Ellis Edwards, 49, engaged in a pattern of touching male students in a sexually inappropriate manner while he was principal of two Fayetteville middle schools. It also contends the school board took no action after the allegations were reported to district officials.

Edwards allegedly engaged in the behavior while principal of Ramsey Street Alternative School and continued after he was transferred to Douglas Byrd Middle School in 2009, according to court documents. It was at Douglas Byrd that Edwards allegedly sexually assaulted the 16-year-old multiple times during his eighth grade year in 2011-12.

The student told his grandmother about the sexual assaults in 2013 “after struggling academically and with various mental disorders for several months,” the lawsuit said.

The student is suing for $90,000 in damages for:

  • Battery/Assault
  • False imprisonment
  • Intentional infliction of emotional distress
  • Negligence
  • Negligent hiring, retention and supervision of defendant board and/or agents
  • Negligent infliction of emotional distress, plaintiff
  • Violation of state law ensuring an open and save environment for educational services

The most recent lawsuit comes on top of an additional suit filed against Edwards in April by a woman who alleged that her son, now 19, was molested while a student at Ramsey Street.

Edwards, whose most recent court appearance was scheduled for Tuesday, is charged with five counts of felony indecent liberties with a child and two counts each of felony second-degree sexual offense, felony sex offense of a student and crime against nature. The charges stem from accusations that Edwards molested at least three boys between 2009 and 2011.

Edwards resigned from Douglas Byrd in August, citing educational reasons. He was charged two months later.

Edwards has denied all allegations.

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