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Former Louisburg High coach arrested on sex charges

Posted January 16, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

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— Louisburg police arrested a former high school football coach Thursday afternoon following an investigation into allegations that he had a sexual relationship with a student.

James Collier, 40, of 401 W. Noble St., faces felony charges of sexual offense on a student and taking indecent liberties with a student. He was released from jail after posting a $5,000 bond.

James Collier - mug shot 1/15/09 - Louisburg High School coach, accused of sexual relationship with student Former coach accused of sex with student

Louisburg Police Chief Rick Lassiter said that an investigation revealed that Collier had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl who attended Louisburg High School. Lassiter did not say how long the relationship lasted.

Last month, Collier resigned from his positions at the school as athletic director and head football coach.

Boyd Sturges, attorney for Franklin County Schools, requested on Jan. 4 that the police department initiate the investigation. Lassiter said he asked the State Bureau of Investigation to assist in the case.

Greg Thomas, a spokesman for the Wake County Public School System, said Collier applied for a position in the district and that he was recommended to be hired at Wakelon Elementary School.

That recommendation, however, was withdrawn before his arrest, Thomas said.

104 Comments

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  • unreconstructed1 Jan 19, 2009

    Does anyone here know the law ? An adult , 18 or older can't have sex with a minor , 17 or younger . A teacher , aka coach can't have sex with a student . 2 laws have been broken here . Both are responsible , but ONLY ONE is an adult . The age of consent is 16 only if both parties are between 16 and 18 . The actual earliest age of consent is 12 , but only if both parties are under 14 . Go check the statutes !

  • NCTeacher Jan 16, 2009

    I don't think the post from his former player was all that bad. You have to think that coaches stay with their players for 4 years most of the time. And teams usually practice or have a game 5 days a week. It is really hard to hate someone you have looked up to and respected for that length of time.

    If the players are willing to spend that much time with you- you have to have some redeeming qualities. I mean, nobody is ALL bad. But everyone makes mistakes. I know pastors that have had affairs, messed up with drinking, etc.. We're all human. But our mistakes don't make us a bad person or mean we were always a bad person.

    Keep in mind, I don't think what he did was right and I don't think the school handled it appropriately. It is still a felony because it was with a student.

  • TheDude abides... Jan 16, 2009

    Check out this post on thefranklintimes.com from one of his former players. It really shows how much students and athletes look up to their teachers/coaches. It seems they cant bring themselves to have any shame for what happened BECAUSE of their coach.

    By: GSmall on 1/16/09
    i really dont give a rats tail bout what ignorant people (that dont really know my coach)have 2 say about him. yes what he did was stupid and wrong but we are all human beings. we may not make a big of mistake as that but we all make them. Coach Collier has been a major influence in my life. He has help me become a better football player but not only that a better person. Just because he made a HUGE mistake people are forgetting about how good of a person he is. And reguardless of what may happen 2 my coach i will always be on his side. I have nothin but love for my coach and i hope that he will be ok. I am praying not only for him but his wife and 2 children

    CREEPY!

  • SEOpro Jan 16, 2009

    seankelly15 - the coach was allowed to resign under these questionable circumstances and given Letters of Recommendation.

    No disclosure was needed. The act of "recommending" the coach knowing circumstances leading to his "quiet stealing out of town" is deplorable. Trying to sneak him into another school system knowing full well his actions were in violation of the law - even though he had not been formally charged. They knew there was enough solid evidence to charge him with crimes. Yet, part of their responsibility in this incident was withholding evidence from authorities. Had the ex-coach been turned in by the school administration and reported for investigation much earlier on, the school board would not have issued "letters of recommendation" in the first place. The FC Board of Education has PLENTY to answer for.

    And what part of your other post did you impart wisdom on us that hasn't been pointed out before? Just curious. I didn't see it.

  • seankelly15 Jan 16, 2009

    Some of you folks are getting exercised about nothing. In a non-school situation the age of consent is 16. The NC legislature has decided that the power imbalance between a teacher and a student is too great so a separate law was enacted that protects students from ANY contact at ANY age.
    This is not about how bold a teenager can be nor is it about why an older man would find a younger girl attractive. There cannot be any sexual contact between a student and a teacher. End of story.

  • seankelly15 Jan 16, 2009

    SEOpro - You know little or nothing about labor laws. An employer has no right to contact another employer to offer negative information about a candidate for a position. Simply put, not only did Franklin County do nothing wrong, but if they had they had told the Wake system they would have broken the law and then subject themselves to a lawsuit that they would lose.

  • grayboomerang Jan 16, 2009

    What is wrong with our society??? I am a teacher, and I hold myself to a higher standard....including appropriate dress, language, etc. I am sick of reading about these creeps/perverts and then reading comments supporting them/blaming the minor.

    Any 40 year old who finds a 17 year old kid attractive..needs help. It's sick and says alot about a married man who would has no respect for his job or family.....all to relive his teenager years.

    When are we going finally crack down on these sexual predators?

  • i4musicalarts Jan 16, 2009

    Not that this debate isn't healthy. . .but NC General Statute is very clear on the classification of this type of activity between a teacher, coach, administrator, etc. and a student. You can go to the legislature's website and look up the statutes. The pertinent ones are 14-202.4 and 14-27.7. It's a felony. There is common language in both, but one sentence stands out, "Consent is not a defense."

  • SEOpro Jan 16, 2009

    Right Gup - lots of kids still infatuated with the image of ex-coach Collier but not that much sympathy on www.FranklinCountyNetwork.com/discussion . The kids just know where the local county paper is - so they are posting there under the story.

    And yes - the issue is custodianship. If you have charge of another human being in any capacity, it is up to you to respect boundaries that make that custodial arrangement a lawful one, built on respect and assistance for the "wards."

    Now, even dentists won't work on kid's mouths without having an assistant in the room if they are under 18; girls can't have pap smears without having more than one person in the room.

    Too many violations of trust have brought society as a whole to this place. Minor punishment isn't enough. It now has to be treated harshly, or many more young lives will be negatively affected by "adults" breaching that fragile trust.

  • TheDude abides... Jan 16, 2009

    Also, you guys need to check out the comments on thefranklintimes.com. A lot of his students/athletes are defending these action. It has to be confusing to them to have someone who WAS such a positive role model make such a terrible and public mistake. It shows as a testament to the influence the teachers/coaches have over their students. Besides, they are just doing what we wanted taught to them...seek the good in people first.

    twilight zone!

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