ADVANCE, N.C. -- A neighborhood and school community are having difficult conversations with their children after a former Davie County elementary school employee was charged with 20 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.
Parents of Shady Grove Elementary School students received a voice message from Principal Sarah Maier notifying them that Jason Banks, 48, had been arrested by the Davie County Sheriff's Office.
Davie County Schools tells FOX8 Banks worked as a speech language pathologist for the school system. He has been on leave since Jan. 22.
Deputies say Banks is charged with 10 counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and 10 counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.
Banks’ arrest warrants show he filmed, recorded and possessed videos of a young child fully and semi-naked, engaged in sexual activity. The recordings were allegedly taken between May 5 and July 8, 2018.
Documents show the young child was 11 years old when the alleged crimes began and had turned 12 as they were ongoing.
“Of course I was shocked and thankful that my daughter didn’t have him as a teacher,” said one of Banks’ former neighbors, who didn’t want to be identified, but also has a child at Shady Grove. “It is a little scary knowing that somebody lives not too far away from you and is facing those types of charges.”
Banks’ address listed on his arrest warrants is at the end of a cul-de-sac in Advance, where children would often play, according to neighbors.
Today, a “For Sale” sign is in front of the home. The real estate company tells FOX8 the home was put up for sale in late January, around the time Banks went on leave from the school system.
“I’m sure she passed him in the halls and maybe even had interactions with him,” Banks’ former neighbor said, of his daughter.
Banks made his first appearance at the Davie County Courthouse Thursday morning. He is being held under a $500,000 secured bond and is due back in court on March 7.
The message sent to parents from Maier reads:
"I am sorry to inform you that Mr. Jason Banks, a Speech Language Pathologist who has worked with our school, was arrested last night by the Davie County Sheriff’s Office. The arrest and related charges do not involve any conduct that occurred at or related to Mr. Banks’ job or our school. Mr. Banks has been on leave since Tuesday, January 22, 2019, and has not returned to work. We have fully cooperated with law enforcement and the safety of our students is our top priority. We will continue to work closely with law enforcement and partner with parents and the community to maintain a safe teaching and learning environment for the students we serve. If you have any particular concerns about this situation, please share them with me directly. Again, I am sorry to have to deliver this news. Thank you."
A statement from Davie County Schools regarding Banks’ arrest is as follows:
"Jason Banks, a Speech Language Pathologist with Davie County Schools, was arrested February 27, 2019 by the Davie County Sheriff’s Office. Mr. Banks has been on leave since Tuesday, January 22, 2019, and has not returned to work. Davie County Schools has fully cooperated with law enforcement at every step of the process; the safety of students is our top priority. We will continue to work closely with law enforcement and partner with parents and the community to maintain a safe teaching and learning environment for the students we serve."