GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — A former Page High School teacher and assistant basketball coach accused of indecent liberties with a student is facing new charges as police continue to investigate.
Mark Johnson Jr., 34, was initially charged with two counts of first-degree statutory rape and two other counts of indecent liberties on Feb. 24.
On March 13, Johnson was charged with two more counts of indecent liberties and two counts of statutory rape/sex offense, according to the Guilford County jail website.
His total charges are as follows:
- two counts of first-degree statutory rape
- four counts of statutory rape/sex offense with a 13, 14, or 15-year-old by a person 6 years older
- five counts of taking indecent liberties with children
- one count of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor
- one count of solicitation of a child by computer
- two counts of taking indecent liberties with children by a school official
“There has been information now as far as Mr. Johnson grabbing [the victim’s] butt, having sexual intercourse with her, having inappropriate text messages with her as well,” Assistant District Attorney Kelly Thompson said in court on Tuesday. “Again, as the officers are going through her phone and continuing to interview her, more information is coming forward.”
Johnson began working at Page High School on Aug. 16, 2022, according to a public information request filed with the school district. He resigned from his position at Page on Wednesday.
Records show that the new charges stem from offenses in December 2022 and Feb. 4, 2023.
According to court records, the parents of a girl realized Johnson had sent a text to their daughter asking for her to meet him outside their home at 1:13 a.m. The parents were home and say their daughter left the house, saying she had to get basketball gear out of her car.
Shortly after, Greensboro Police Department detectives began investigating, and Johnson was put on leave from Page High School.
Johnson sent text messages to students telling them to delete everything, according to the judge, however, the girl saved texts he had sent her.
Officers say they saw illicit photos and videos from another student on Johnson’s phone, as well, and a second student also reportedly engaged in sexual activity with Johnson, claiming that Johnson told her “this is not my first time.”
Guilford County Schools said that the district “conducts criminal background and reference checks for all newly hired employees. Additionally, the district requires that any suspicion of sexual misconduct is reported to law enforcement.
Following a background check, Mark Johnson, Jr. had no charge or conviction related to sexual misconduct prior to February 24, 2023.”
Johnson worked as a substitute teacher at Andrews High School, Eastern Guilford High School, Smith High School, Mendenhall Middle School and Sternberger Elementary School from March 2017 to April 2018.
From August 2018 to July 2019, he worked as a CTE teacher at Allen Jay Preparatory Academy. He resigned from that position.
According to Thompson, detectives located a 2019 report in which “there were allegations of some sexually inappropriate conduct with Mr. Johnson. However, Mr. Johnson resigned from the school system and the allegations went nowhere and then was hired back into the Guilford County school system.”
The 2019 allegations did not lead to charges, but Thompson says detectives are going back to investigate that report.
Johnson was re-hired in August 2022 at Page High School. He also worked as the Girls’ Varsity Basketball Assistant Coach from the fall of 2022 to the winter of 2023.
“Student safety is very important to us, and this kind of behavior will simply not be tolerated at Page High School or in Guilford County Schools. GCS and Page High School have cooperated fully with law enforcement on the investigation throughout this process. We will continue to provide support to the Page campus.”GUILFORD COUNTY SCHOOLS
Johnson’s bond is listed at $3 million.