A former Durham County, North Carolina, sheriff’s office deputy was arrested on Monday for sex crimes involving a 15-year old student at the school for which he served as a safety officer.
Christopher Kelly, 40, was placed on administrative leave on April 21 and terminated one week later, according to police records, after being accused of sexual misconduct with a minor.
“Recent events have led me to lose confidence in your ability to conduct your official duties as a deputy sheriff with the Durham County Sheriff’s Office,” wrote Donald Ladd Jr., Chief Deputy Sheriff for Durham County in a letter to Kelly.
A search warrant obtained by WRAL, a news outlet local to Durham, shows that Kelly met the victim while she attended Carrington Middle School in 2014, where he worked as an off-duty deputy. When the victim moved to Northern High School the next year, Kelly transferred his off-duty position to that school.
A spokesman for the Durham Sheriff’s Department said Kelly was transferred to work full-time in the School Resource Division in the summer of 2016, at which point he moved to Hillside High School.
The investigation began in April when deputies pulled over Kelly and noticed a teenaged female passenger. According to a search warrant, Kelly attempted to avoid the stop, and, when he was eventually pulled over, tried to create a distraction so the girl could flee.
Kelly, who reportedly has a wife and children, faces a litany of charges, including statutory sex offense with a child, first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, indecent liberties with a child, sex acts with a student and second-degree kidnapping. He is being held under a $2.5 million bond.
“When one of our own is accused of abusing the trust we work hard to earn, it is both disheartening and devastating to all involved,” said Durham County Sheriff Michael Andrews in a statement. “Our thoughts are with the family at the center of this ongoing investigation. The Sheriff’s Office will continue to work with the Durham County District Attorney’s Office, and we will respect the judicial system in the next phase of this process.”
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