Parents on Burke Co. teacher accused of sex crimes: 'It is sickening'

BURKE COUNTY, N.C. — Parents at a Burke County elementary school are in shock after they learned a teacher was arrested and charged with indecent liberties with a minor and second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor Monday morning.

Michael Lowman, 31, taught fourth grade at George Hildebran Elementary School in Burke County.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was investigating a social networking and dating website with graphic images of juveniles in a state of undress.

The investigation led officials to Lowman.

Lowman's phone was seized and officials said they found numerous photos that are defined as child pornography.

During an interview, Lowman admitted that he had downloaded and uploaded child pornography.

He also admitted that he had taken immoral, improper and/or indecent liberties with minor children.

According to the arrest warrant, the victims included a 14-year-old boy and someone younger than 16.

School officials reached out to all parents by phone to alert them about the charges against Lowman.

"It's a shame. It's a shame. In this small community, you would never dream this would happen and I'm just shocked," mother Marina Collins said.

"It's bad. It is sickening. You just can't trust your kids with their own teachers," father Tyson Bryce said.

Denisa Young has a granddaughter who had Lowman as a teacher this year, but she said she didn't see any red flags.

"He seemed to be a good teacher. The kids at the school loved him... My granddaughter loved to be around him," Young said.

Lowman is being held under a $250,000.00 secured bond. He has resigned his position at the school and surrendered his teaching license.

The district attorney and Lowman's attorney agreed to hold a bond hearing Tuesday.

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