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Iredell-Statesville Schools employee charged with 16 counts of sex crimes

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Roger Jeffrey Speaks (Iredell County Sheriff's Office) Roger Jeffrey Speaks (Iredell County Sheriff's Office)

An employee at an Iredell-Statesville School was arrested Monday and charged with child sex crimes.

Roger Jeffrey Speaks, 57, of Troutman, is charged with 16 counts of indecent liberties with a child, according to a release from the Iredell County Sheriff's Office.

The two female victims were interviewed by investigators on February 10 after their mother called the Sheriff's Office.

Speaks was arrested Monday at Troutman Middle School where he works as a data controller.

Detectives say the issue is ongoing but at this time they have no reason to believe any crime occurred on school property or involving any child at Troutman Middle School.  But for some parents that doesn't eliminate their concern Speaks worked at the school and could have had contact with their children.  Many said they will talk to their kids

"You got to be careful about everybody," said parent Renee Montgomery, "You can't trust anybody.  We talk about it now that this world is cruel and you have to be careful and cautious everywhere you go."

Middle school parents said they found out about Jeff Speaks arrest in different ways-- talking with friends, watching the news, or reading a school email.

"I was ready to pull my kid out of the school," said parent Jenny Bara, "My daughter she's only in 6th grade and I asked her if she knew who he was."

Bara said her daughter did not know Jeff Speaks, a data collector at Troutman Middle School in the Iredell-Statesville School District.

"I have heard of his name and I talked to him, or called him two times," said Montgomery, "And he called me back one time on trying to set up data stuff for my daughter."

Montgomery learned of the arrest the day after it happened.

"Very shocking, it surprises you that he's able to be in the school," said Montgomery, "Did they just find out?"

School officials said they found out on Monday.

The school district said Speaks has been working for the district since 2005.  He resigned his position onTuesday.

Looking at court documents, law enforcement connects all 16 counts of indecent liberties with a child to one accuser. Detectives said this is an ongoing investigation and more charges could come from another accuser.

Bryan Paslay, the principal at Troutman Middle, sent a message to parents Monday about the incident. It states, in part, "This letter is to inform you of a serious situation involving one of our staff members.  I want to ensure you are provided accurate information in a timely manner."

The letter goes on to state, "This is a law enforcement investigation, and as such, there is very little our school or school district can share.  We will continue to fully cooperate with law enforcement as they continue their investigation.  Our school district is also ensuring that the state's personnel policies are enforced regarding Mr. Speaks' employment status."

Speaks was placed in the Iredell County Detention Center under a $200,000 bond. 

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