Local News

Former Zebulon school headmaster surrenders on sexual battery charges

Posted May 29, 2012
Updated May 30, 2012

— The former headmaster of a Zebulon charter school surrendered Tuesday on sexual battery charges at the Wake County Magistrate's Office. Two female employees at East Wake Academy have accused Brandon Smith, 57, of Wendell, of inappropriately touching and talking to them.

He was charged with two counts of sexual battery and is due in court July 10.

Attorney James Hairston said his client "adamantly denies" any inappropriate contact or misconduct with teachers at the school.

But this isn't the first time Smith has faced such allegations. Court records show a teacher at Smith's former school, Githens Middle School in Durham, accused him of sexual harassment.

She filed a lawsuit against the Durham County School Board, but it was later dismissed.

"That's been resolved. That's 10 years old. He has worked at East Wake for 10 years without any problem," Hairston said. "Obviously from that time and the resolution of that case, he's re-established his reputation as an administrator and an educator."

Hairston said his client looks forward to his day in court.

Last month, Smith sued his accusers and East Wake Academy for defamation, civil conspiracy and emotional distress.

Former Zebulon school headmaster surrenders; denies sexual battery claims Former Zebulon school headmaster faces sexual battery charges

According to the lawsuit, one of the employees claims that Smith commented on how good she looked in her pants and then followed her into a lounge and "pulled the back of my pants out and down and stated, 'You don't mind if I look at your tattoo, do you?'"

The other employee accused Smith of making comments on several occasions about her sleeping with him, according to court documents.

Smith served as headmaster of the school for a decade before being fired in March shortly after the allegations surfaced.


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  • ashwednesday36 Jun 1, 2012

    Although students sometimes get "the skinny" I would not place too much stock in what they say as far as facts are concerned. Too, "she probably wouldn't return anyway" sounds like the proverbial " definite possiblity of an affirmative maybe." As Brandon himself used to say...."Employees of EWA work at the pleasure of the board and they can fire you any time they see fit." That seems to most certainly be true.

  • allie19 May 30, 2012

    Makin my day!! :0

  • allie19 May 30, 2012

    He'll look cute in orange! When Big Bruno pulls the back of his pants down and looks and says "you don't mind if I look do you."? Will will Brandon do then? And can Big Bruno sue for defamation of character and emotional stress if Brandon tells on him??

  • outhousecat May 30, 2012

    I want to see the e-mails. All the yada yada about tats is a big waste of time.

  • NiceNSmooth May 30, 2012

    ChicoDusty - I am not a supporter of tatoos, but I think the term 'tramp stamp' is overused, especially in this case. tightywhit__2 does make a good point, though.

    You are intitled to your opinion and I also agree with tightywit - thought it was quite funny!!!

  • gottalovenc May 30, 2012

    WOW yall are trying the case yourselves and you dont have the FACTS! Get the facts straight! The 2 teachers are STILL Employeed at the school and nothing has been said about their contracts for next year!
    As far as seeing someones tattoo SO WHAT! A tattoo doesnt make someone a bad person - TOUCHING SOMEONE while you are in an administrative supervisory role IS Against the Law for a reason! Just because you can see someone's tattoo doesnt give you permission to touch it. And what about all the other passess toward other people? Or the things he said to the other teacher? ITS IN THE COURTS HANDS NOW LET THEM HANDLE IT! Wait until you hear ALL the evidence before you go playing Judge and Jury - AND GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT BEFORE YOU GO TALKING DOWN TO PEOPLE!

  • walrus2020 May 30, 2012

    scoutmom - there has been no announcement by either teacher that they were not returning. From a teacher standpoint, they are both great teachers. Unfortunately, the former management chose to hire many that were not only un-certified, but also didn't even have a teaching degree. These teachers do not fit into these catagories. I hope they stay, but after all this abuse, I wouldn't blame them if they left.

    ChicoDusty - I am not a supporter of tatoos, but I think the term 'tramp stamp' is overused, especially in this case. tightywhit__2 does make a good point, though.

  • tightywhitey2 May 30, 2012

    Since A female tattoo is called A "tramp stamp" what do they call A male tattoo A "loser label".

  • NiceNSmooth May 30, 2012

    I was so interested in enrolling my children in this school and the purposed extention in Knightdale... but after all the stories and posts on WRAL my kids will not be going anywhere near this school. Issues with the headmaster, the teachers showing tatoos, the controlling board members etc. I dodged a bullet!!

  • Duke _Nukem May 30, 2012

    My kids go to East Wake and they told me that they can easily see the gym teacher tramp stamp. So it's not like it's not visible. Creepy man.