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Former Triangle principal caught in Boone child predator sting

Posted July 15, 2015

Ralph David Dennis
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— A Campbell University professor and former principal at five Triangle schools was arrested in Boone on Wednesday for trying to solicit a young girl online for sex.

Ralph David Dennis, 60, of 2905 Stone Gap Court in Raleigh, was charged with first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, soliciting a child by computer and indecent liberties with a child – all felonies.

A Boone police detective posed as a 14-year-old girl and responded to a personal ad on a popular website. The ad indicated that the poster was looking for sexual relations with a young girl, police said, and a rendezvous was eventually set up in Boone.

Authorities arrested Dennis at the meeting site, and investigators seized evidence that "shows his intentions with the young girl if she had been a real child and had arrived at the meeting location," the department said in a statement.

Dennis was the principal at Cary High School from 2005 to 2007 and Daniels Middle School from 1998 to 2005, the Wake County Public School System said. In Durham, Dennis was the principal at Chewning Middle School from 1995 to 1998, Little River Elementary School from 1990 to 1995 and Eno Valley Elementary School from 1989 to 1990, Durham Public Schools said.

Dennis' current position is assistant professor and coordinator of special education teacher certification at Campbell University. The school, which did not comment on his current employment status but said they are cooperating with investigators, removed his faculty profile from their website. Dennis joined the Campbell faculty in 2006, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Dennis was a special education teacher for nine years before becoming a school administrator, according to his faculty profile.

The State Bureau of Investigation, the Wake County Sheriff's Office and the North Carolina Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce also participated in the investigation.

42 Comments

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  • Mike Hill Jul 16, 2015
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    People the SO registry is equal opportunity. If you research it you will find a like number of each ethnicity represented. I am glad they caught this guy this time. However, most of the LE's resources are squandered on administrating people who should not be on the registry. The majority of the SO registry is comprised of misdemeanor sexual battery and indecent exposure that does not involve children and was a one time offense, perpetrated by juvenile males. These people should not be on the registry and LE should be concentrating on the felonious pedophiles such as this guy. I am not really concerned about 18 yo boys dating 16 yo girls, flashers, inappropriate selfie senders or streakers. They are harmless and misguided and do not warrant our time and energy when there are other dangerous people out there.

  • Jason Starcommand Jul 16, 2015
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    Crowder,
    While I had a few minutes to kill, I watched the Wake County arrests scroll back from today to July 10th. Here's what I found: 60 blacks arrested, 38 whites arrested, 5 Hispanics arrested.
    Blacks are a minority

  • Gen Lee Jul 16, 2015
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    Don't argue with them. You won't win.

  • Jason Starcommand Jul 16, 2015
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    Hey Crowder, you should check out the Wake County arrest photos.
    Black man charged with statutory rape, Hispanic charged with statutory rape, and another Hispanic charged with failure to register as a sex offender.
    You should stop stereotyping whites. I don't go around saying blacks love watermelon and chicken.

  • Gen Lee Jul 16, 2015
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    Well someone made it about white v black so I stood up for white culture. You might like that it turned into a race issue but it did.
    I told the person no one condones child predators/molesters. I said everybody can commit heinous crimes like this not just white people as he said.
    At least I try to fix my mistakes after I catch them. My grammar was mostly correct (one or two errors) and my spelling was mostly correct (one or two times). But when you cannot form a complete sentence in the correct way you can't understand what the person is writing.

  • Charlotte Purnell Jul 16, 2015
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    Either way....your grammar was incorrect. Your issue should not be with Jerome. It should be about pedophiles working in a setting that involves children.

  • Gen Lee Jul 16, 2015
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    By the way spelling and grammar are two different things.

  • Gen Lee Jul 16, 2015
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    DEVIL

  • Gen Lee Jul 16, 2015
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    Our culture is easy to understand. Your culture has violence and terror too so stop blaming the WHITE DEVIl.

  • Clayton Bigsby Jul 16, 2015
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    Look your mom in the face and call her a white devil. Selling your own family out...dang.

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