Raleigh, N.C. — A Wake County kindergarten teacher has been charged with child sex crimes in connection with alleged incidents from more than a decade ago in Camden County, authorities said Thursday.
Samuel Napol Byers is charged with five counts each of felony indecent liberties with a minor and felony statutory sex offense with a minor. He was being held Thursday at the Albemarle District Jail under a $1 million bond.
The charges stem from incidents alleged to have occurred between December 1999 and June 2000 when Byers was a teacher in Camden County, authorities said.
Detective sergeant Max Robeson with the Camden County Sheriff's Office said Byers told a friend what happened and that friend went to Raleigh police. Authorities then tracked down the alleged victim.
"I asked him was there something that happened to him in the eighth grade he wanted to talk about," Robeson said. "He began immediately crying. He was very emotional."
Robeson said the case remains under investigation, and more charges are expected.
"I do not believe this is an isolated incident. I am concerned that there are more kids that have come across Mr. Byers and potentially have been sexually abused," he said.
Byers, who is now a teacher at Creech Road Elementary School, at 450 Creech Road in Garner, has been suspended with pay, Wake County Public School System officials said. He was arrested at the school Wednesday, and the school sent a letter home to parents to inform them of the situation.
"This is a very serious matter. That's why, as soon as we learned of the charges, we removed Mr. Byers from the classroom immediately," said Wake schools spokesman Mike Charbonneau.
Joseph Tate, who has two children at Creech Road Elementary School, said he appreciated being informed.
"I do not know who caught it, but I am glad they did," he said, adding that he asked his children whether "anybody at school touched them or talked to them inappropriately."
Byers has worked in Wake County schools since August 2001, spending a year as a teaching assistant at East Cary Middle School and another seven as an assistant at Smith Elementary School before moving to Creech Road Elementary in August 2009. He spent two years there as an assistant before becoming a teacher a year ago.