Local News

Web cam catches college worker in sexual act

Posted December 8, 2008
Updated December 9, 2008

— Smithfield police and the Johnston County District Attorney's Office are investigating a Johnston Community College worker's complaint about a former employee who allegedly performed sexual and lewd acts in her office.

Paula Parrish, director of online classes at the college, said she set up a Web cam in her office last December after she noticed the door to her office ajar one morning.

The camera, she said, captured Harold Jones, a maintenance employee, masturbating in her office and afterward, touching various items on her desk.

"When I saw it, I couldn't believe it. I think I was in shock," Parrish said. "I found Mr. Jones exposing himself in my office, and he was placing candy on my desk, and he was touching himself with a piece of gum. He wrapped it and placed it back on my desk."

Jones, Parrish said, started making her uncomfortable with romantic advances, such as gifts and notes, in 2005 and would often leave her gum and candy on her desk – items she said she would often share with coworkers and her husband.

Upon making the Web cam discovery, Parrish reported the incident to her supervisors. Jones, a 16-year employee of the college, was allowed to retire. There was no criminal investigation.

Parrish said she believes the college mishandled the complaint, but the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled the school handled the situation appropriately.

"As soon as the college found out about it, we took immediate action," said Gordon Woodruff, an attorney who represents Johnston Community College. "I think the college did what it was required and needed to do and acted within its policies and within the law."

Because the college is a government facility, it cannot prohibit anyone, including Jones, from being on the campus.

That's why, Parrish said, she felt like she needed to go to law enforcement. She has been working for the past year to get them to look at her case.

"I was extremely scared. I immediately wanted to get out of my office because I was in fear that he was going to come to my office," she said. "We wanted him arrested and some criminal charges brought against him."

Jones, 68,  said Parrish reminded him of his late wife and that he does not know why he did what he did. But he said he does not think it is a crime.

"I'm truly sorry," he said. "It's an embarrassing situation for the school, for her, for me."

To Parrish, it's very personal. She says the ordeal has had a dramatic effect on her life, and she hopes the criminal justice system will give her some closure.

"This whole thing has destroyed me and my husband's life," she said.


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  • flipper59 Dec 15, 2008

    J"ones, 68, said Parrish reminded him of his late wife and that he does not know why he did what he did. But he said he does not think it is a crime."

    You did your late Wife like this as well????
    Not a crime> you're not smart at all. No wonder Jack O'hale was sent to your rescue. Wonder who is paying that bill-lol
    Strange, when the Parrish family called Mr O'hale last Dec he didn't return their call. Quess it was a "conflict of interest" with the college and all.

  • SEOpro Dec 10, 2008

    Oh wow - this is off the hook. It is both sick and hilarious, yeah, that's it.....siclarious! Only in America. Though, on the other hand, you'd be SURPRISED at what is going on in your office, your car, your house, your doctor's office, the tanning salon room, etc. etc. Folks, as a whole nowdays, have no boundaries. Blame it on the internet ;-)

  • kathy8791 Dec 10, 2008

    To all of you posting as if there is no foul, no harm done, you must be family or friends of this lawbreaker. What an evil, insane, criminal act. Lock him up for life for the protection of society. His behavior is beyond passive aggressive.

  • zeitghost Dec 10, 2008

    why he isn't in jail is beyond me.

  • Space Mountain Dec 10, 2008

    Why would she take the candy if she was so afraid of someone leaving it on her desk?

  • canesnut Dec 10, 2008

    I think I speak for everyone when I say -- "Ewwwwwwwwwwww!!!"

  • radixlecti Dec 10, 2008

    I think you can be reasonably sure that this isn't the first person he has done this to, he just got caught, can it's a behavior that has probably gone on for years.
    The more I see, the more I think that the law serves to protect the people who commit the crimes, not the real victims..

  • ratherbnnc Dec 10, 2008

    How is this not illegal---what did you people base that on? Its a perfect example of secret assualt--which is guess what...here it comes...ILLEGAL! Lawsuit to JCC congrats!

    Rubbing candy on your willy is far from Secret Assault!!

  • flipper59 Dec 9, 2008

    "If the EEOC investigated and found it was handled properly then nothing more should be done."

    "EEOC" That bucket investigation has a big hole in the bottom. It won't hold water being filled from a large fire hose.
    What a waste of federal tax dollars that invest was.

  • Timetogo Dec 9, 2008

    JCC should have extinguished this flame before it turned out to be a wild fire. SHAME on EVERYONE concerned! Allowing Harold to resign/retire wasn't enough for what he did but for Paula to make these tapes available to the world was over-kill. Instead of getting him the help he obviously needs, this has just ruined his life. This has to be embarrassing for everyone who works at JCC!!