Local News

Wilson Teacher Charged with Sex Offense

Posted January 13, 1998 12:00 a.m. EST

— Children, now more than ever, need the protection of parents, teachers and neighbors. In Wilson County, it's a former teacher who's being accused of sexually abusing a child.

Wilson County deputies say the alleged misconduct happened on school property at Speight Middle school. Thirty-year old Corey Coombs was hired last August to teach Social Studies and English. Tuesday, he was charged with statutory sex offense and taking indecent liberties with a 12-year-old student. Coombs no longer lives or works in Wilson County.

"According to the statement from the victim," Sheriff Wayne Gay explains, "apparently she stayed after school for some special study or some reason, and apparently something occurred after school and something also occured during school."

This is not the first time Coombs has been in trouble with the law. Jacksonville Police charged him nine years ago with assaulting a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest and carrying a concealed weapon. All charges were dropped except for the concealed weapon, but Wilson County didn't know about his record until after Coombs started working.

Deputy Superintendent Larry Price says the timing of Coombs' criminal records would not allow the school system to have that information prior to his employment, which is normally the case.

Price says the timing issue did raise a red flag, but it wasn't enough to terminate Coombs' employment. Coombs resigned from his job in December and returned to his home in the Wilmington-New Hanover County area to look for a job with the local community college.

Tuesday, Coombs was being held in the Wilson County jail under $50,000 bond.