Davidson County Schools teacher charged with statutory rape of former student

DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. -- A Davidson County middle school teacher is charged with sexually assaulting a former student eight years ago and, according to the sheriff's office, she's still employed by the district.

Davidson County Schools' website shows Lee Annette Williams, 50, teaches at Ledford Middle School.

The district says it's aware of the charges and will take "appropriate action" as more information comes out.

Davidson County sheriff's investigators arrested Williams Monday on a $50,000 secured bond. She posted bond once she arrived at the Davidson County Jail.

She's charged with two counts of statutory rape and four counts each of statutory sex offenses and taking incident liberties with a child.

The victim was just 14 years old at the time. The sheriff's office says the victim was a student at Ledford Middle School and Williams was a close family friend.

Now, eight years later, he's coming forward.

"It's actually quite common. It's not unusual at all for it not to be reported until years later," said. Dr. Ed Dawson, a clinical psychologist.

North Carolina is one of the few states that doesn't have a statute of limitations on sexual offenses. That means a victim can still report a crime no matter how long ago it happened.

"Some of what goes into not reporting it early on actually has to do with the embarrassment and humiliation of it, believing that no one's going to believe them if they do tell," Dawson said.

Deputies started investigation the sexual assault claims in July and said they found enough evidence to support the victim's story.

The alleged abuse happened between August and October 2009, all off of school property.

"They have nothing to gain most of the time by reporting it," Dawon added.

The age of consent in North Carolina is 16 years old. Dawson says legally, and developmentally, a 14-year-old cannot consent to having sex with an adult three times his age.

"Even though they're cooperating, doesn't mean it's not abuse," he said. "It's always the adult's responsibility to do what's in the best interest of the child. It's not the child's responsibility to take care of themselves and say no."

While Williams is out on bond, she cannot contact the victim or his family. She also can't contact any children under age 18 unless they're supervised by their parents.

Williams is scheduled to be in Lexington District Court on Aug. 25.

The first day of school is Aug. 28, but teachers are expected to report back on Aug. 22.

Davidson County Schools sent FOX8 this statement.

"We are certainly aware of the charges against Mrs. Williams. At this point in time we have limited information in regards to the allegations. We will continue to investigate the allegations and work with law enforcement as this matter develops. As more information becomes available to us, we will take the appropriate measures. As this involves a confidential personnel matter, we have no further information to share at this time."