Local News

Plea allows Fayetteville ex-principal to avoid jail on sex charges

Posted June 10, 2015

David Ellis Edwards

— The former principal of a Fayetteville middle school, charged in October 2013 with molesting at least three students, pleaded guilty June 2 to two counts of indecent liberties with a child.

The plea allows David Ellis Edwards, 51, of 7204 Tobago Place, to avoid a trial or jail time for what investigators determined were crimes committed at Ramsey Street Alternative Middle School and Douglas Byrd Middle School between 2009 and 2011.

He was sentenced to five years' probation and must pay a fine.

Edwards was initially 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. As part of the plea deal, many of those charges were dismissed.

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 2010, when he became principal at Douglas Byrd Middle School. He resigned that role two months before his arrest.


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