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Child sex charges dropped against former principal

Posted June 7, 2010

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— A former Cumberland County principal said Monday that he wants his old job back now that child sex charges have been dismissed against him.

Ronald Thomas Parker, 59, was charged on June 10, 2009, with statutory sex offense and taking indecent liberties with a child. Authorities alleged that he touched a 3-year-old girl in his Asbury Road home in late May of last year and that she contracted a sexually transmitted disease.

Eastover-Central Elementary School in Fayetteville Officials aren't sure if cleared principal will return to school

Prosecutors dismissed the charges Friday because of insufficient evidence, authorities said.

"I was relieved. I was very, very relieved," Parker said.

Having the charges hang over his head for almost a year was like a nightmare, he said.

"You're ashamed to even show your face. That was tough," he said. "There were probably three months when I didn't even walk out of the house because I was so ashamed."

His church, Center Baptist, stood behind him, giving him the strength to hold on, he said.

"I have learned to pray a whole lot harder than I've ever had to pray," he said.

Parker declined to talk about the 3-year-old or how he knows her, but he said he believes that investigators jumped the gun on filing charges against him.

"I thought it was something of a quick investigation, too quick," he said. "You're happy that it's over, but then again, you're a bit frustrated. Why did it happen?"

Cumberland County Schools reassigned Parker after his arrest from his position as principal at Eastover-Central Elementary School to a job at the school district's operations center, where he filled textbook orders.

School district spokeswoman Theresa Perry said Monday that administrators haven't decided whether Parker can return to the classroom.

Parker, who has been an educator for 38 years and headed Eastover-Central Elementary for four years, said seeing some of his former students recently tore him up inside, and he wants to get back to working in a school.

"I just said, 'Good luck on your tests,' and they saw me and they came up and every one of them hugged me," he said. "It just broke my heart to see those kids, to miss them the way I've missed them over the last year."

“All I ask is the school system be fair to me,” he said.


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  • hotdiggitydog Jun 9, 2010

    Let's remember that stories are edited re-edited and then edited some more. I am sure he was interviewed for an hour and that was cut into a 30 second segment. Here is the link for another news story: http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?section=news/local&id=7484298

  • Myra Jun 8, 2010

    I hope the little girl doesn't have long term side effects of this incident. AGAIN _ Mr Parker did NOT deny that he commited the offense. He is just "relieved, relieved...."

    We do NOT have to accept anything; we have the first amendment right to our opinion and freedom to express them.... wildcat needs to not tell anyone what to accept and what to do. I want to hear him say he didn't do it, but that did NOT happen.

    The DPI (Dept of Public Instruction) website lists the hundreds of "educators" who have lost there teaching license due to crimes of sex offense against children and students.

  • wildcat Jun 8, 2010

    I hope to see better stories tomorrow. Thanks.

  • wildcat Jun 8, 2010

    sentences he gave those little girls.

    Praying for their loved ones.

    God bless.


    Wouldn't you? Its over and you need to let it go. A decision was made. Except it and move on. Thanks.

  • Myra Jun 8, 2010

    He did NOT say he was innocent; he did NOT say he did not commit the offense; he is merely "relieved" to have it over with.

    NO ONE said they felt sorry for the 3 year old girl who, apparently, contracted an STD somewhere. NO ONE said DSS would intervene and safeguard the child. NO ONE ever says they feel for the child; this one is a toddler.

    NC "Soft of Child Sex Offenders" -- Roy T. Cooper's PLEA DEALS for sex offenders with PROBATION ONLY is worrisome.

    Do you really want your little girl to be in school with Mr. Parker?

  • hotdiggitydog Jun 8, 2010

    I know we are all taught not to assume anything, but I cannot imagine that the DA would drop charges in a case if the child had an STD and the person being charged tested positive for that STD. Therefore, I am assuming this guy DID NOT test positive for that STD. In that case, who else is being tested? The child's father, mother, etc? Is DSS TRYING to find out WHO gave this child an STD? Bottom line - someone did.

    If this man's medical records show no evidence of taking any drugs to "cure himself" of the STD and he didn't test positive for the STD, it is pretty cut and dry; charges should have been dropped. And should he get his job back? ABSOLUTELY!

    If the child had an STD and the one person accused didn't have it, should DSS launch an investigation into other possible suspects? ABSOLUTELY!

  • Road-wearier Jun 8, 2010

    And here's the real problem - assuming the child is being truthful, there's a pedophile on the loose. THAT'S the major issue when somebody is falsely charged or convicted - the real criminal remains free.

    As for the three year old being credible - they're not. They're not little adults. They're kids. Any of us who have kids know this.

  • Jack Flash Jun 7, 2010

    "Our forefathers must be rolling over in there graves. Letting a few guilty people get away with it is a small price to pay to protect the innocent. The goal is justice, not complete safety. It scares me how prevalent these Stalinist comments are. You can't lock everyone up who could potentially be a threat."
    Uh, you're missing a word from your username w/ that interp of my post, BullCity. Our forefathers would also be rolling over in their graves at your oversimplified dismissal of freedom of the press.
    Besides, I already stated that the problem lies with the public's willingness to ignore due process in favor of judging w/o the facts, not w/ the system. No system is so perfect as to acct for all human manipulations or shortcomings.

    It's kneejerk idiocy and a predisposition to pounce regardless of understanding that leads to your use of a term like "Stalinist" to describe what I wrote.

  • ghimmy51 Jun 7, 2010

    Journey985: How would you suggest DNA be acquired? Currently, if the DNA isn't on file it's necessary to "shoot in the dark" with more conventional detective work. Many times police are certain they know who did a crime but they don't have enough to give to a DA or get a court order for a sample. A DNA match is an excellent way to narrow down the whole world of suspects and focus on other evidence in a case. We'd live in a lot safer world and fewer innocent people would be in prison if DNA were put on file at birth. Collecting a cheek swab from someone arrested for a felony can not only confirm involvement in some way (possibly innocent) but just as surely clear a suspect.

  • chfdcpt Jun 7, 2010

    "The McMartin Preschool Abuse Trial, the longest and most expensive criminal trial in American history, should serve as a cautionary tale. When it was all over, the government had spent seven years and $15 million dollars investigating and prosecuting a case that led to no convictions. More seriously, the McMartin case left in its wake hundreds of emotionally damaged children, as well as ruined careers for members of the McMartin staff. No one paid a bigger price than Ray Buckey, one of the principal defendants in the case, who spent five years in jail awaiting trial for a crime (most people recognize today) he never committed."...http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/mcmartin/mcmartinaccount.html

    Just a little food for thought for those of you who still believe that he is "guilty" of something there is no proof about.

    How about the term being "Nifonged"?