William Lenoir MS teacher charged with sex crimes involving students

By: Dave Faherty

Updated:

CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. - A grand jury indicted a middle school teacher in Caldwell County with five counts of felony taking indecent liberties with a child.

Eyewitness News reporter Dave Faherty was there as authorities brought in 29-year-old Justin Biggs. 

Police said Biggs has resigned from his teaching position at William Lenoir Middle School.

 

 

Lenoir police said they began their investigation in November after a female middle school student reported being assaulted on school grounds. The investigation led to more students coming forward, totaling five, according to police.

The indictments said that Biggs, who was a math teacher and softball coach at William Lenoir Middle School, committed a lewd act on a child. 

Police said all of the incidents happened on school grounds.

"It's hard on the school and the children there,” Lenoir police Capt. Brent Phelps said. “These are tough cases"

Authorities said Biggs taught at Granite Falls Middle School in the past. Granite Falls police confirmed to Channel 9 that they learned of allegations against Biggs in May 2015 and forwarded their investigation to the District Attorney's Office in September 2015 but there were no charges filed.

School district officials said they were aware of the 2015 allegations and allowed Biggs to transfer schools because the incidents at that point were unsubstantiated.

"Lots of discussion with law enforcement as they were going through the investigation, and there was never any report to us that he was a danger to students," Libby Brown, with Caldwell County Schools, said.

School district officials said that before moving Biggs, they also placed conditions on his employment, but because it is a personnel matter, they could not say what those conditions were. 

Parents at William Lenoir Middle School believe more should have been done to keep children safe.

"I think he should have been let go and they should have found another math teacher," parent Erin McGuire said.

The district attorney said Tuesday that "because it is pending cases and an ongoing investigation it would not be appropriate to comment at this time." 

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