Jail sentence stands for ex-headmaster of Zebulon charter school
Posted October 1, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — The 120-day jail sentence for the former headmaster of a Zebulon charter school convicted Monday on a sexual battery charge will stand, the judge in the case ruled Tuesday.
Brandon Smith, the top administrator of East Wake Academy, was found guilty of the charge, as well as a charge of assault on a female in connection with allegations by a former teacher who said Smith pulled down her pants when she worked at the school in 2011.
Superior Court Judge Carl Fox initially sentenced Smith to two 60-day sentences to run consecutively, but defense attorneys filed two motions asking the judge to reconsider the punishment because both charges relate to one single act.
One motion asked the court to arrest judgment on the assault charge, and another asked that the two sentences run concurrent to one another.
Fox denied both motions, saying there was no statutory requirement to change the sentence.
In addition to his four-month jail sentence, Smith must also register as a sex offender.
Smith was highly respected in the Zebulon community for his work in making East Wake Academy a school of excellence.
He was fired last year from the position he held for nearly a decade after allegations from two teachers that he inappropriately touched them and made sexual remarks to them.
Smith also faces additional charges of sexual battery and assault stemming from another teacher's allegations that he hugged her while he was sexually aroused.
He also went to trial on those charges, but the jury in the case deadlocked on verdicts.
Wake County Assistant District Attorney Melanie Shekita said Tuesday she is still deciding whether to retry him on those charges.
Attorneys also talked about a possible plea deal with Smith, but he rejected the idea.
He maintains his innocence in both cases.