Fayetteville, N.C. — A former Cumberland County principal was charged Friday with molesting and sexually assaulting students at his schools, authorities said.
David Ellis Edwards, 49, of 7204 Tobago Place, was charged with two counts each of second-degree forcible sex offense and sexual acts with a student and five counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor. He was released on a $140,000 unsecured bond with the condition that he refrain from contact with any child under 16.
An investigation determined there were at least three victims of the alleged crimes, which authorities said were committed at Ramsey Street Alternative Middle School and Douglas Byrd Middle School between 2009 and 2011.
The victims, boys ages 11 to 14, told authorities that they were touched inappropriately or were forced to participate in sexual acts with Edwards. On at least one occasion, a crime is alleged to have occurred while a parent unknowingly sat in a waiting area in the office of Edwards' school, authorities said.
Edwards joined Cumberland County Schools in 1998 and was principal at Ramsey Street Alternative Middle School from 2005 until three years ago, when he became principal at Douglas Byrd Middle School.
He resigned Aug. 6, authorities said.
Edwards' attorney, Jim Parish, said Friday that his client "is not guilty."
The case remains under investigation, and anyone who might have been victimized is asked to call the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office at 910-323-1500.