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Wilson Teacher Charged with Sex Offense

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

Wilson County deputies say the alleged misconduct happened on school property at Speight Middle school. Thirty-year old Corey Coombs was hiredlast August to teach Social Studies and English. Tuesday, he was chargedwith statutory sex offense and taking indecent liberties with a12-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 occuredduring 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 Countydidn't know about his record until after Coombs started working.

Deputy Superintendent Larry Price says the timing of Coombs' criminalrecords would not allow the school system to have that information priorto 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 Decemberand returned to his home in the Wilmington-New Hanover County area to lookfor a job with the local community college.

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

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