Local News

Sex abuse charges mount against ex-teacher as victims speak out

Posted March 19, 2012

— A sixth person has come forward to accuse a former Johnston County science teacher of sexual abuse, Clayton police said Monday.

Paul Clifton Canally, 29, of 148 Buchanan Lane, Clayton, faces more than three dozen charges, including six counts of statutory rape, two counts of sex with a student, seven counts of indecent liberties and eight counts of sexual battery for offenses dating to 2008 that involve boys under age 16.

Canally was arrested three weeks ago on charges that he sexually abused a teenage boy numerous times between April 2010 and last December. Two days after his arrest, police filed charges of statutory rape and soliciting a child by computer against him in connection with a second boy.

Three more boys then came forward. Two of the alleged victims were students at Archer Lodge Middle School when Canally taught there, investigators said.

Canally was in the Johnston County jail Monday evening under a $2.63 million bond. His defense attorney, James Levinson, declined to comment on the case.

According to search warrants, the alleged victims told investigators that Canally met them through school, continued to connect with them on Facebook and asked them to start "hanging out" at his house, where he molested and took photos of them.

Neighbors say Canally was friendly, but they did notice things that they did not consider normal.

"I've never seen him with a woman. I've never seen him with a man. I've only seen him with children," Canally's next-door neighbor, Matthew Sallese, said.

Paul Canally Sex abuse charges mount against ex-middle school teacher

"I was out here smoking a cigarette at about 2 in the morning after work," he continued. "I saw him with some young boy taking off, and I waited for him to get back. I don't know. I just had a weird feeling."

Clayton police say their investigation is ongoing. Detective JasonLinder said that, whenever a victim comes forward, it also gives others the courage to come forward as well.

The other victims that are out there, potential victims, (for them) to see that there are brave victims who have come forward, gives them a little bit more courage and strength to come forward and talk with us," he said. "They feel a little ashamed, and you have to explain to them that (they) don’t have anything to be ashamed about , that (they’re) being brave."

Canally worked as a seventh-grade science teacher and science club adviser at Archer Lodge Middle from August 2007 to July 2009, when he resigned for personal reasons, Johnston County Schools spokeswoman Terri Sessoms said.

Sessoms said Friday that district officials were investigating a verbal complaint against Canally in the summer of 2009 when he resigned. The complaint didn't involve any alleged sexual misconduct, she said, but "concerns were reported to all appropriate agencies."

Sessoms said the school district took no disciplinary actions against Canally during his tenure.

Police said Canally also worked as a camp counselor in Pennsylvania, and they are trying to determine if there were any victims there.

94 Comments

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  • piene2 Mar 22, 8:29 a.m.

    "If this was not true he would not be in Jail with a $2.63 million bond. If he was so innocent like people are saying he is then why did he have child porn on his computer when the police searched his house. The police would NOT arrest you if you had adult porn on it but it was child porn. That is not so INNOCENT. Police does not arrest anyone without a cause. In this cause there is a cause and it is child molestation. IF he is so innocent then WHY WHY please tell me WHY he is in Jail on $2.63 million. Tell me Why that he will not be getting out of jail. Tell my WHY Child Porn on a computer, videos, pictures, and possible other thing is not wrong. If this was your child in a picture, video, etc then you would not be saying he is so innocent. He has been proven guilty and from what I understand has admitted it. IF HE ADMITS THAT HE DID IT HE IS GUILTY NOT INNOCENT.
    ilove2trav"

    I beg to differ. This is the United States of America and here he is innocent until tried and found guilty.

  • OyVey1 Mar 21, 2:28 p.m.

    " He was molested at the age of five by a family member."

    Thesmiths1013, Where do you get your information? That is a bold accusation of his family.

    Although situations like this seem to stem from a crime like that, unless you have facts to back that up, I would not put out more accusations.

    And if your statement is true, I hope that the person who committed the crime against him all those years ago is dealt with accordingly.

  • ilove2trav Mar 21, 2:14 p.m.

    If this was not true he would not be in Jail with a $2.63 million bond. If he was so innocent like people are saying he is then why did he have child porn on his computer when the police searched his house. The police would NOT arrest you if you had adult porn on it but it was child porn. That is not so INNOCENT. Police does not arrest anyone without a cause. In this cause there is a cause and it is child molestation. IF he is so innocent then WHY WHY please tell me WHY he is in Jail on $2.63 million. Tell me Why that he will not be getting out of jail. Tell my WHY Child Porn on a computer, videos, pictures, and possible other thing is not wrong. If this was your child in a picture, video, etc then you would not be saying he is so innocent. He has been proven guilty and from what I understand has admitted it. IF HE ADMITS THAT HE DID IT HE IS GUILTY NOT INNOCENT.

  • newswatcher Mar 21, 11:20 a.m.

    " He was molested at the age of five by a family member."

    Thesmiths1013, how do you know that to be true? Awful...

  • thesmiths1013 Mar 20, 5:57 p.m.

    paul was a very charming man, which is why some parent trusted him with their children. He was molested at the age of five by a family member....not that this excuses it...but is probably where his sickness started! He had a choice to help other victims or to be a molester, he choose to be a molester..

  • newswatcher Mar 20, 12:52 p.m.

    This whole thing is very sad for everyone. The victims and their families. And Canally's family too. He is someone's son, grandson, brother, cousin. This thing has hurt so many people. I wonder if he was born like this or if someone hurt him a long time ago.

  • FromClayton Mar 20, 12:00 p.m.

    I swear im going to follow my kid everywhere! He is going to have all sorts of issues, but i hope and pray this isnt one of them. If this guy is guilty I hope he is seriously punished!

    And what is up with the school? Did someone there know what was going on and turn a blind eye? I don't know, but if that did happen some heads should roll. I hope they invistigate.

    poor kids. They just wanted some attention. Sad situation.

  • piene2 Mar 20, 11:04 a.m.

    "piene2 - don't confuse your definition of 'innocent'. just because a jury finds them 'innocent' doesn't mean the person did not commit the crime against them.
    JAT"

    What you say may or may not be true but in this case it is irrelevant. There has been no trial and therefore no verdict to be wrong. All there is the rabid mob with their torches, cudgels and pitchforks storming the castle doors.

  • Whosays Mar 20, 9:02 a.m.

    I am sure Monca if it were your children involved it would be a very differnt opinion than the one you display here.

  • susiesw Mar 20, 9:00 a.m.

    To the people who think that a 13 year old should just have known better, and possibly made this whole story up, I suggest you do an internet search for "1 in 6" and "male survivor." Please educate yourself about sexual abuse before you post your comments!

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