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Former Burlington Christian Academy cheer coach denies student sex charge allegations

A BCA paid volunteer cheer coach, accused of an inappropriate relationship with a student, appeared in court Tuesday.

BURLINGTON, N.C. — According to her attorney, Marissa Carter was a paid volunteer cheer coach at Burlington Christian Academy for four years.

Carter, along with her family and lawyer, went to her first appearance in court. She faces two felony charges of a sex act with a student and indecent liberties with a student.

Her lawyer Julian Doby spoke after the appearance and said they plan to take a non-guilty plea. 

"My client emphatically denies these charges and we're gonna defend them to the fullest extent," said Doby. "She's been in touch with this alleged victim's family the entire time throughout this process and the investigation that started with some anonymous email to BCA. We intend to go fully through and try this case; we don't know where their evidence is coming from."

Doby claims the school received an anonymous email from a concerned parent. He said the school later put out an email to everyone, prior to charges, claiming she was terminated and alleging an inappropriate relationship took place. 

"It was on their email list, that this lady was going to be charged with this, which was totally inappropriate and it contained a multitude of falsities in that email, which is particularly concerning to my client," said Doby. 

Burlington Police said officers and school staff worked together to confirm the allegations. They said the relationship between Carter and a student took place between March and May of this year. 

Doby said there was a lot of false information in the email and that the victim and the victim's family were in communication up until the charges were filed. 

"My client and her family are very close with this family and the alleged victim," he said. "Up until these charges, they've all been in constant contact and all have denied that any inappropriate relationship took place."

 He also added that Carter is cooperating with the investigation.

"I wanted everybody to see her face today and know that this is not some monster or predator here, she's a real human being and she denies totally these allegations," said Doby. 

The arrest sheet states that this involved a juvenile. It also states that there's a two-month timeline for when the offense happened. 

Doby claims because there's no exact date, it's just allegations. 

"They don't have any specific date that they say that this took place," he said. "They have some two-month gap or range that they say this might have taken place, which again shows that somebody doesn't know what they're talking about."

Carter did pay bond and the court is expected to reconvene on July 12. 

Burlington police said no other students were found to have been involved.

WFMY News 2 reached out to the Burlington Christian Academy but has not yet received a response.  

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