Local News

Warrant: TA, student exchanged sexual banter in texts

Posted April 30, 2009
Updated July 6, 2009

— A former teacher's assistant exchanged text messages with a student that "included verbiage which was sexual in nature," according to a search warrant released Thursday.

Gina Marie Watring, 40, of 106 Cricket Ground in Durham, was charged Wednesday with two counts of first-degree sex offense with a child.

Gina Watring in court Ex-teacher's assistant in jail on sex charges

Watring was a teacher’s assistant at Creekside Elementary School in Durham, and an arrest warrant stated she had sex with a student on April 10 and April 21.

Authorities haven't disclosed the age of the student.

Investigators seized cell phones, picture cards, 10 green pills and a note with "Gina" written on it from Watring's home, according to a search warrant.

In the affidavit for the search warrant, investigators said a student found a note signed by the alleged victim that said, "Gina, I love you so much babe. I'm so lucky I have you. I'm glad you feel the same way. I want to be with you forever. I'd never do anything to hurt u."

Creekside Elementary administrators questioned the boy and also discovered the sexual text messages, the affidavit said.

The boy told Durham County Sheriff's Office investigators that he and Watring had intercourse twice at her home, according to the affidavit.

The boy's mother told investigators she was concerned about her son's relationship with Watring and asked both of them to end it. Watring would sometimes bring her son home late, or she would have to call and ask where they were, the mother told investigators.

Defense attorney Steve Monks asked that Watring's bond be reduced from $100,000 to $20,000 during a brief court appearance Thursday morning, but District Judge Brian Wilks denied the request.

Watring needed a lower bond, Monks said, because her family recently opened a restaurant and all their money was tied up in the venture.

Monks said he was representing Watring only for her initial court appearance because he knows her through a Sunday school program at his church. He called her "a wonderful person" who has been married for 13 years and has three children.

"I do not know whether there is any physical evidence. I doubt very seriously if there is," Monks said.

Wilks appointed a public defender to represent Watring and set her next court date for May 13.

Watring worked for Durham Public Schools from Nov. 15, 2006, until she resigned Tuesday, officials said. According to Creekside Elementary's Web site, she taught dance and drama at the school.


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  • fuzzmom May 1, 2009

    Drive-by reporting? What about the text messages? Why would a mother have to tell another grown woman to "end" a relationship with a 10 year old???? Something is amiss and to dismiss it on the basis that the child might be lying is irresponsible. Sure, children lie, but text messages? Mother's intuition??? That's gotta stand for something.

  • tiblet May 1, 2009

    I am all for tougher laws for adults in positions of authority over children who abuse their power and use it to control, harm, seduce, steal the innocence from a child.

    No matter what the child does...says, etc...the behavior expectations of the adult are different...they should be in control of their behavior and never behave inappropriately with a child. No matter how old he or she looks or acts.

    I don't see any reason to treat men and women offenders differently.

    Sending sexual text messages to a 10 year old, if she did it, makes her a predator in my book...and she should have to register as a sex offender. If she lured the boy to her home under the guise of a school activity and if his parents agreed to allow him to go to her home b/c they believed he was doing something for school...that's clearly using her position as an educator to gain oppty to molest a child. A child cannot consent...period.

  • kikinc May 1, 2009

    You know, this one is hard to understand because the boy was so young, but it does happen. Remember Mary Kay Letouneau? This could be the same type of situation. She kept going back to her "boy toy (literally)" and kept having kids with him. That's probably why the bond is so high....but I think it should in any crime that involves children and/or sexual assault. On the other hand, how can anyone forget the rash of sexual abuse allegations from a ton of day cares in the 1980's? Many people's lives were ruined just for it to come out that these children were coerced into making up stories. Not all of them had this outcome, but many did. Remember, a 10 year is still a child. We can't make any assumptions of guilt OR innocence since there are plenty of examples of each scenario.

  • FairPlay May 1, 2009

    She needs the same punishment as male molesters!

  • Milkman Apr 30, 2009

    In way too many crimes the system sets the bail too low, and lets people back on the street that shouldn't be. Here's one where the judge got it right. Congrats, and thanks for saving us from this potential criminal (I know she's innocent for now.)

    To all you judges who let molesters free on $5000 bond or other low bonds, shame on you!!! And that goes double for the guys letting folks on parole back out to hurt or kill.

  • LBOE Hits Apr 30, 2009

    "Creekside Elementary administrators questioned the boy, who said he was in Watring's daughter's class and frequently went to their home as part of a school club."

    They usually try to protect the identity of the minors in these situations, but doesn't this kind of give a great opportunity to narrow this down to pretty the person that was involved with her? And where does it say the boy is around 10? It just says he was classmates with her daughter, from what I read.

  • Common Sense Man Apr 30, 2009

    "It takes alot of evidence to get an indictment from the grand jury on these...."

    It takes the same amount of evidence to get an arrest warrant as it does an indictment, and that's not very much.

  • NC Reader Apr 30, 2009

    "And the double standard from the posters rears its ugly head once again. If it had been a male teacher (no matter the sex of the child) calls for castration would be hollered.

    You must not have read some of the posts I've read lately about male teachers and female students -- such comments as "She was probably as much at fault as he was" and "Girls these days look and act so much older ...". Yes, I've seen those comments and more. Personally, I think that, if this woman is guilty, she should be treated the same way any man should be treated who committed the same crime -- and that should be very severely.

  • didisaythat Apr 30, 2009

    I am glad there are so many lawyers on WRAL when there is a crime story. For the person that wants "Proof Beyond a Shadow of a Doubt" That is not the legal standard. That is impossible to get. Unfortunately the juries these days expect it. I recall the gang member..what was his nickname....oh yea, MURDER. That's right, and they found prints at the scene and he was not convicted....Proof Beyond a Shadow of a Doubt...When that is required no one is guilty.

  • Fuquay Resident Apr 30, 2009

    And why is a 10 year old even texting in the first place? Not to start a discussion on the appropriate age to have a cell phone, but "texting @ 10" is a little early.