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College grounds supervisor accused of stalking, indecent liberties with student in Statesville

The student told investigators the stalking started around Oct. 25, 2021, with the suspect allegedly following the student to and from her classes.
Police obtained charges on John Phillip Barkley for indecent liberties with a student, sexual...
Police obtained charges on John Phillip Barkley for indecent liberties with a student, sexual battery, three counts of misdemeanor stalking, and one count of assault on a female.(Statesville Police Department)
Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 5:18 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2021 at 5:34 PM EST
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STATESVILLE, N.C. (WBTV) - Police say a college grounds supervisor is accused of stalking, sexual battery, indecent liberties with a student and other charges in a situation involving a young woman in Statesville.

On Monday, Nov. 15, the Statesville Police Department was notified of a student at Mitchell Community College (MCC) who wanted to report being stalked by 59-year-old John Phillip Barkley, the grounds supervisor at the college.

Police say the student and her parents met with officials at the Statesville Police Department, where an interview was conducted.

MCC placed Barkley on administrative leave after learning of the incident.

During the interview, the student told investigators the stalking started around Oct. 25, 2021, with the suspect allegedly following the student to and from her classes.

The suspect also allegedly followed the student to her vehicle, yelling at her and beating her car window. The student told police that the stalking escalated and detailed other alleged encounters with the suspect to investigators.

Police obtained charges on John Phillip Barkley for indecent liberties with a student, sexual battery, three counts of misdemeanor stalking, and one count of assault on a female.

On Nov. 15, the Alexander County Sheriff’s Department arrested John Phillip Barkley for the above charges, where he is being held in the Alexander County jail.

In a joint media release from Mitchell Community College and Iredell-Statesville Schools, officials said Barkley was placed on administrative leave by Mitchell Community College as soon as the college learned of the situation.

“We take the safety of our students very seriously,” stated Superintendent Jeff James. “We appreciate the swift work of Chief Addison and the Statesville Police Department. The safety and well-being of our students are paramount on all of our campuses, including our early college students who attend the MCC campus in Statesville.”

“Mitchell always places our students first. This starts with their safety as the number one priority,” said Mitchell Community College President, Dr. Tim Brewer. “We also appreciate the swift action of the Statesville Police Department.”

Barkley has been employed as a grounds maintenance supervisor at Mitchell Community College for 10 years, officials say.

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