Local News

Teacher's Assistant Faces Statutory Rape Charges

Posted May 17, 2007 5:46 p.m. EDT
Updated September 24, 2007 1:50 p.m. EDT

— Cumberland County sheriff's deputies arrested a Gray's Creek Middle School teaching assistant Wednesday and charged him with nine felony charges of statutory rape and other sex offenses.

Authorities said a student at the school told a teacher that she had a relationship with Joel Vincent Hurley, 28, of 1261 Thelbert Drive in Fayetteville, for a short period of time. A school official then called the sheriff's office.

Deputies charged Hurley with two counts of statutory rape, two counts of statutory sex offense, two counts of sexual activity by school personnel with a student and three counts of indecent liberties by school personnel with a student.

The school system would not talk specifically about Hurley's employment status but said that in situations such as this, the accused is usually suspended with pay.

"We take very seriously the safety of children and employees in the school district," Assistant Superintendent Wanda McPhaul said.

Hurley also works part-time for the Cumberland County Parks and Recreation Department. The department suspended him without pay and has sent him a notice of dismissal. He has to appeal within a week or be fired.

He is currently in the Cumberland County Detention Center under a $75,000 bond. His probable cause hearing is scheduled for June 6.