Local News

More Sex Charges Filed Against Ex-Assistant Principal

Posted February 16, 2007 1:17 p.m. EST
Updated February 16, 2007 6:43 p.m. EST

— A former Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School assistant principal faces 46 sex-related charges involving minors, and police said Friday that an ongoing investigation could lead to more charges.

Larry Ray Jewell, 57, 104 Queensbury Drive in Dunn, was charged Thursday with 24 counts of sex offense in a parental role. He was arrested at the school, shortly after he resigned as one of four assistant principals at Southeast Raleigh High.

During a three-minute court appearance in Harnett County Friday morning, police also filed against him five counts of first-degree sexual offense, 15 counts of taking indecent liberties with a child and two counts of disseminating obscenity.

The charges involve a boy between the ages of 10 and 20, and incidents as far back as 10 years, said Sgt. David Whittenton of the Dunn Police Department. Police are talking to two other boys who also might have been victimized, and more charges are possible, he said.

Police began investigating the case three weeks ago. The initial charges involved a boy for whom Jewell was "a substitute parent," Whittenton said, declining to elaborate.

The offenses allegedly occurred in Jewell's Dunn home and at the home of one of the boys and didn't involve any Southeast Raleigh High students, authorities said.

"It's just hard to imagine somebody would do something like this -- I mean constantly -- over a 10-year period," Whittenton said.

Jewell, who is being held at the Harnett County Detention Center on a $3.25 million bond, had worked for the Wake County school system since 1999 and had been at Southeast Raleigh High for the past two years. He previously worked at Carroll Middle School, officials said.

Before working in Wake County schools, Jewell spent 21 years at North Carolina State University as a professor in the Department of Agriculture.

In 1983, Jewell was charged with solicitation of a crime against nature, but he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct.

The Wake County school system did a background check before hiring Jewell and found nothing, spokesman Michael Evans said.

"It didn't show up, or information was falsified either in the application or in the interview process," Evans said.

The district relies on employees to report any run-ins with the law, he said, adding that nobody in Wake County has come forward with complaints against Jewell.

"If it's anything beyond a normal traffic ticket, the failure to disclose is cause for immediate termination," he said.

Timothy Rice, the pastor of Glad Tidings Church in Dunn, which Jewell attended, said Jewell has never been involved in any ministry or leadership role. "Our hearts go out to the families affected," Rice said in a statement.