Local News

Ex-Assistant Principal Faces School Sex Charge

Posted March 14, 2007 11:05 a.m. EDT
Updated March 14, 2007 6:02 p.m. EDT

— A former Raleigh assistant principal facing nearly 50 sex-related charges in Harnett County was charged Wednesday with a sex offense involving a student on school grounds.

Larry Ray Jewell, 57, of Dunn, was arrested on Feb. 15 on charges that he sexually abused a boy in his care over several years. He resigned his position as assistant principal at Southeast Raleigh High School the same day.

Raleigh police on Wednesday charged Jewell with one count of taking indecent liberties with a minor. Assistant Wake County District Attorney Jeff Cruden said the charge involves an alleged incident with a male student on the grounds of Southeast Raleigh High last spring.

Raleigh police continue to investigate the case to determine if there are any more possible victims.

The first accuser told the Harnett County Sheriff's Office that Jewell first abused him in 1999 while he was living with his father in Coats. The boy's father was later convicted on federal charges of having child pornography on his computer, and the accuser then moved in with Jewell and his family.

Defense attorney Jesse Jones questioned the boy's father during a probably cause hearing Wednesday as to why his son was allowed to live with a man he feared.

"There was one incident that I had questions about much earlier, and it was my opinion that that situation had been resolved and there was not going to be any further problems," the man said.

The man said his son never complained about Jewell.

"It was never told me. If you know anything about the way pedophiles groom people, you'll know that most times (victims) won't talk about it. They're ashamed of it."

Jones asked District Judge George Murphy to dismiss the charges against Jewell, saying the case was based solely on the boy's accusations.

"You've seen the investigation so far. It has been no investigation," Jones said. "What did they give you judge? Nothing. No physical evidence, nothing."

The teen pressed charges the same day Jewell tried to kick him out of his house after the boy threatened to kill his girlfriend and himself, Jones said.

But Murphy ruled there was enough evidence to move forward with the Harnett County charges and sent the case to a grand jury, which will consider the case on April 16.

Wake County school administrators declined to comment on the latest charge against Jewell, who remains in the Harnett County Detention Center on a $3.25 million bond.