Teacher, scout leader faces judge on sex charges against preteens
CHINA GROVE, NC (WBTV) - A Rowan County teacher and scout leader could spend 31 years in prison if convicted on multiple sex charges against a child.
Jim Barringer III, 51, was arrested on Wednesday and charged with six counts of indecent liberties with child.
According to the arrest warrants, Barringer is accused of molesting three boys between June 1 and July 4.
Barringer made his first appearance in court Thursday morning via video from the Rowan County Detention Center.
Judge Marshall Bickett told Barringer that he could face 62 months in prison on each of the six counts he faces.
Attorney James Davis will represent Barringer. Several members of Barringer's family were in the courtroom but did not have any comment.
Barringer is an 8th grade algebra teacher at China Grove Middle School, where he is also the school's Athletic Director.
He also serves as an Assistant Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop in China Grove.
Investigators say the charges involved incidents that occurred over the last two years, and involve more than one preteen victim.
"The abuse of anyone, especially a child, is intolerable and our thoughts and prayers go out to those who may be a victim of this type of reprehensible behavior. The behavior included in these allegations runs counter to everything for which the Boy Scouts of America stands. Upon learning of these allegations, we took immediate action to preclude this individual from any future participation in the Scouting program," said W. Todd Walter, Scout Executive/CEO for the Central North Carolina Council.
Walter added, "These allegations remind us of the importance to be ever vigilant when it comes to the safety of our youth. The BSA seeks to prevent child abuse through a comprehensive program of education on the subject, the chartered organization leader selection process, criminal background and other checks, policies and procedures to serve as barriers to abuse and the prompt mandatory reporting of any allegation or suspicion of abuse."
A spokesperson for the Rowan-Salisbury School System said that officials were "shocked, appalled and very saddened" to hear about the arrest and charges.
"The conduct with which he has been charged is deplorable and is grounds for immediate dismissal from the school system," the spokesperson said in a statement Wednesday. "The superintendent is taking immediate steps to investigate, in cooperation with law enforcement. Dr. Moody encourages anyone with potentially relevant information to contact the Rowan County Sheriff's Department.
Barringer was being held on a $100,000 bond. He bonded out of jail Thursday afternoon and is scheduled to be back in court on August 6.
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