CHATHAM COUNTY, N.C. — Thursday night, the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office arrested 28-year-old Robert William Woodard III of Browns Summit for having an inappropriate relationship with a student. Here are the charges he faces:
- Eight counts of felony indecent liberties with a student
- Seven counts of felony first-degree sexual offense of a child 15 years of age or younger
- Eighteen counts of felony sex acts with a student
Deputies said Woodard resigned Thursday afternoon from Chatham County Schools, where he was a band teacher at both Chatham Central High School in Bear Creek and Bennett School in Bennett. Officials say he spent roughly 75-percent of his workday at Chatham Central and the remainder of his time at Bennett.
School officials suspended Woodard with pay on March 6, following a report of an unrelated alleged violation of Chatham County Board of Education policy.
On March 7, a thorough internal investigation by school officials and a tip from a parent revealed potential violations of the law, which the district reported to the Sheriff’s Office.
On March 8, the Sheriff’s Office started investigating allegations that Woodard was involved in an inappropriate relationship with a female student at Chatham Central.
“The well-being of students is our top priority. It always is,” Chatham County Schools public relations coordinator John McCann said. “We have zero tolerance for inappropriate relationships — both online and offline — between school employees and our students. We will seek the permanent revocation of Woodard’s license as a professional educator with the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.”
The Sheriff's Office said school officials have fully cooperated with the investigation.
The N.C. State Bureau of Investigation assisted with the investigation.
Woodward was taken to the Chatham County Detention Center and placed under a $500,000 secured bond. He is due in Chatham County District Court on March 20.
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