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Former Teacher Arrested On Child Sex Charges

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SMITHFIELD, N.C. — Johnston County authorities arrested a former teacher Friday on charges that she had sex with an 11-year-old boy three years ago.

Rebecca Withdrow, 30, surrendered herself to sheriff's detectives. According to authorities, the former fifth-grade Polenta Elementary teacher is accused of having sex with one of her students inside her classroom between February and June of 2003. At the time, she was 26 years old.

Withdrow faces three charges: first-degree rape of a child, indecent liberties with a child and sex offense with a student.

"It is a situation that we take very seriously in the interest of our students and staff," said Johnston County Schools spokeswoman Crystal Roberts.

School officials said they were recently made aware of the allegations and contacted the sheriff's office. Withdrow was suspended with pay before resigning Wednesday.

"We would want our parents to know that students are still safe," said Roberts.

Withdrow lives down the street from the school, and nearby neighbors were shocked by the news.

"There is so many little kids here, just the thought of someone like that in my neighborhood kinda scares me," said Wesley Wright, a neighbor who lives three doors away from Withdrow.

"I don't know why she's got to go with a little kid. It's just not right," said neighbor Jason Harper.

Neighbors said Withdrow has two young daughters. There is no word on the whereabouts of her children.

Withdrow is being held at the Johnston County Jail on a $750,000 bond. Authorities said the investigation is ongoing.


Bobbie Eng, Photographer
Dana Franks, Web Editor

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