Local News

Leesville H.S. Security Guard Faces Statutory Rape Charges

Posted January 27, 2005 4:46 a.m. EST

— A private security guard was fired Wednesday at Leesville High School after he admitted, according to school system officials, to having consensual sex with a student.

Brandon Roberts, 28, is charged with statutory rape for having sex with a 15-year-old female student. Investigators say there were at least two incidents at Roberts' home and immediate action was taken when the school system became aware of the allegations from her parent.

"The officer basically told his side of the story and admitted to the allegations and police were contacted at that time," interim senior security director John Rothecker said.

Roberts worked for Lankford Protective Services out of Greensboro. It is not the first incident involving a security officer for the Greensboro-based company. In October, Ronald Johnson, who worked at Southeast Raleigh High School, was charged with having a gun on campus. Wake security officials said they are now reassessing their contract with Lankford.

For parents, the latest case at Leesville High is unsettling.

"To hear my daughter talking, he was really friendly and they don't understand that's how it happens," parent Lonnie Sheffield said. "You know people become real friendly, gain your confidence and then take advantage of you."

For students, the incident seems hard to believe.

"I saw him talking to a few girls now and then, but I never expected it," student Matt Moore said.

Background checks are part of the hiring process and Roberts did not have any criminal history. Six months ago, Wake County even started sitting in on final interviews conducted by the security company about a year after Roberts was hired.