The parents of children attending a South Carolina high school are reeling after learning that a former assistant principal has been accused of giving students drugs and inviting them to his house for sex. The 29-year-old man has been charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, distributing cocaine and distributing marijuana. He is being held at the Richland County Detention Center according to media reports.
The man was initially taken into custody in November after Richland County Sheriff's Department deputies responding to a tip allegedly discovered marijuana, Xanax and Adderall in his home. Deputies assigned to the case say that they soon discovered that the man was abusing his position at a local high school. He is said to have encouraged students to skip classes in order to gain their trust before inviting them to his home to take drugs and engage in sexual activity. While he is not accused of having sex with a minor, he is facing delinquency charges for allegedly asking students under the age of 18 to share nude photographs of themselves.
A 25-year-old former teacher and basketball coach has also been taken into custody. He is accused of taking cocaine supplied by the man on school property. The school district involved says that both of the suspects have been fired.
Criminal defense attorneys often seek to resolve cases through plea agreements when minors are involved and finding an impartial jury could be difficult. Prosecutors may agree to a reduction of the drug charges in return for a swift resolution even when the evidence appears strong and the case is attracting media attention. This is because the cost of failure in a high-profile case can be high for prosecutors and arguing in front of a jury always involves at least some risk.
Source: WLTX 19, "Ex-Dutch Fork assistant principal invited students to take drugs, have sex, deputies say", Adam Lautenschlager, Feb. 1, 2019