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Corinth Holders coach faces trial on indecent liberties charge

Posted May 24, 2012

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— District Court Judge Andy Corbett decided Thursday to take a Corinth Holders High School coach and teacher to trial on charges he took indecent liberties with a 16-year-old student.

James Joseph McNamara II has been suspended with pay from his job with the Johnston County Schools since March, when allegations surfaced about an encounter with a female student.

That teen testified in a probable cause hearing that McNamara drove her home and then touched her and kissed her inside the house.

Prosecutors say the teen's story is backed up by school surveillance tape and McNamara's cellphone records. 

But an attorney for McNamara said the student accuser tells lies and that there is no physical evidence showing that he was inside her home.

"There is not one person in that subdivision that puts him there," said defense attorney Jack O'Hale.

School system officials say McNamara has admitted to driving the girl home, but says he never took indecent liberties with her.

"(He said) he watched her go in the house and went straight home," said Robin Little, chief personnel officer for Johnston County Schools.

When the allegations first surfaced, the teen told school officials that she had never had any contact with McNamara outside of school. The student said she lied to stay out of trouble and to protect McNamara.

The young woman admitted to having a crush on the teacher and said he was easy to talk to. She also said she was drinking vodka at the time of their encounter to calm her nerves. 

Prosecutor Kelli Sandling countered arguments that the girl made questionable choices by saying the teacher and adult should be held to a higher standard.

"The defendant had the time, motive and opportunity to commit this offense," Sandling said.

She said he's the one who is not being honest.

"He wanted to take her home, and he knew it was wrong because he did not tell anyone," she said.

Since his arrest, students and their parents have rallied in support of the man they call "Coach Mac," whom they say is incapable of the kind of behavior the teen accuser described.

Family friend Cheryl Kemp said the news is devastating.

"He is getting married on Sunday, and I had hoped to put closure to this," she said.

132 Comments

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  • itsmyownopinion May 25, 2012

    I don't know anyone involved in this story. Personally, I think marriage can be enough of a challenge under the best of
    circumstances, and I'm certain that I wouldn't want to, nor would I marry anyone under indictment for anything.

  • OneLove May 25, 2012

    "The couple, their families, and their many supporters couldn't be happier!" -----> oh come now! I think we all agree they COULD BE happier.

  • Objective Scientist May 25, 2012

    "OneLove-- your information is incorrect if you are stating that the wedding is off this weekend. Coach Mac and his fiancee are indeed getting married. The couple, their families, and their many supporters couldn't be happier!"
    americanflyer
    May 25, 2012 4:00 p.m.

    This is exactly why you should NOT believe everything you read or see on the "web"!!!

  • americanflyer May 25, 2012

    OneLove-- your information is incorrect if you are stating that the wedding is off this weekend. Coach Mac and his fiancee are indeed getting married. The couple, their families, and their many supporters couldn't be happier!

  • itsmyownopinion May 25, 2012

    Thanks for answering my question OneLove.

  • OneLove May 25, 2012

    itsmyownopinion ~ 1)postponed then 2)canceled.

  • itsmyownopinion May 25, 2012

    "When the allegations first surfaced, the teen told school officials that she had never had any contact with McNamara outside of school. The student said she lied to stay out of trouble and to protect McNamara."

    How did the allegations first surface?
    Has his wedding been canceled or postponed?

  • Objective Scientist May 25, 2012

    "Objective - ...to ignore the pleas of a truly innocent victim is a horrible, horrible injustice to that person. Investigate, yes, but don't throw out a case just because there's no hard evidence." - post by JAT - May 25, 2012 10:01 a.m.
     
    JAT - it is an EQUAL INJUSTICE for a person to be falsely and wrongly accused! Injustice can and does "cut both ways"!!! Suppose you are the truly innocent victim you describe... But you are mistaken and the person you accuse is just as innocent as you are. The person you falsely and mistakenly accuse has as much right to justice and fair treatment as you - the victim!

  • Objective Scientist May 25, 2012

    JAT - go back to my post of 830 am today. Read it closely. I said nothing about " dismissing" the case. If - IF - ALL it comes down to is " she said, he said" - NOTHING else - there is NO case to be made!

  • beaulahjackson4 May 25, 2012

    Either way the coach used very little or very poor judgment. You hear stories all the time of the accused lying and the victim lying, so it was very foolish for him to drive her home. If he could not get law-enforcement,the principal or a female teacher to help he shoud have sent her home in a cab, at his own expense....obviously it would have cost him less (or call a female friend to help). And if there was a kiss of any sort as report, even if it was the drunk, lying girl just planting one on him, he should have immediately reported the incident to his superior(s). Poor judgment at the very least, and at the very worst he preyed on a girl he thought no one would believe anyway.

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