Local News

Assistant Principal Charged With Indecent Liberties

Posted February 3, 2006

— The assistant principal of a Cumberland County high school was charged Friday with taking indecent liberties with a student.

Elazzoa McArthur, 32, of 3637 Gabe Smith Road, Wade, turned himself in to authorities Friday morning. He has since posted his $200,000 bond and is no longer at the Cumberland County Jail.

Investigators say McArthur, who was assistant principal of Pine Forest High School at the time of his arrest, allegedly became involved with a 17-year old student.

The girl's mother told investigators she discovered the relationship between her daughter and McArthur after she saw McArthur leaving her home on the evening of Jan. 30, 2006.

Police said that detectives learned McArthur and his victim would spend evenings together when the girl's mother was away at work.

"It shouldn't have happened, and it was wrong for him to use his position to gain what he gained out of it," said Pine Forest parent Dennis Johnson.

Investigators say McArthur and his victim began their relationship when he was a basketball coach at Cape Fear High School and she was a basketball player on an opposing team. When he began working at Pine Forest High, the relationship allegedly continued.

"This is a very odd case for us, because even though we have one of the largest school systems in the state, we don't have a lot of teacher (or) educator fraternization," said Cumberland County Sheriff's Office's spokeswoman Debbie Tanna.

Detectives are trying to determine if there may be other victims. According to Charity Church's Web site, McArthur helped out as a youth minister. But no one at the church would comment to WRAL on the case.

McArthur is charged with two felony counts of sexual activity between a school employee and a student and two felony counts of taking indecent liberties with a student by a school employee.

McArthur's first court appearance is scheduled for Monday morning. He has not been fired, but he is suspended without pay.


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