Police: Students make more allegations against substitute teacher
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A substitute teacher, accused of inappropriate contact with a student, has more allegations against him from former students.
Lamont Deshon Barrett, 31, was charged Thursday with seven counts of felony indecent liberties with a student. Police say Barrett had "inappropriate contact with a 16-year-old male student, as well as showing him inappropriate videos of a sexual nature," while working as a substitute teacher at Rocky River High School.
According to Mint Hill Police, more students have come forward with similar allegations since his arrest. The alleged incidents happened inside a classroom at the end of last school year. Police are continuing to ask students who know something about Barrett to come forward.
Investigators say they are looking into the new claims. No word if more charges will be filed.
"I didn't suspect anything last year," Rocky River High School student Deajah Stewart said. "He was pretty cool, but he was a quiet teacher."
The investigation began looking into the allegations on September 1, according to the official report. Police say Barrett used his personal cell phone to show the 16-year-old pornography while students were in the classroom. When class dismissed, police say the 16 year was in the classroom alone with Barrett and police say that's when the alleged crime happened.
"I didn't expect him to be like that," Rocky River High School Student Abner Hernandez said. "I thought he was a nice man."
Barrett was arrested in Lexington County, South Carolina, and extradited back to Mint Hill to be interviewed. He was then charged and taken to the Mecklenburg County Jail.
Police are looking into Barrett's background. He is no stranger to the law. Barrett has been arrested for Driving With License Revoked and charged with possession of drugs. Law Enforcement officials say they are surprised Barrett was hired as a CMS substitute teacher. Court records show a few years ago, he was arrested on possession of marijuana. Detectives say CMS' hiring practice is now part of their investigation.
CMS says a background check was completed on Barrett. The district says all arrests would show up on the background check, including the drug charges. CMS still hired Barrett.
Ths following statement was sent to parents at the school:
Dear Rocky River families, this is Principal Turner. The Mint Hill Police Department notified me about an investigation regarding inappropriate conduct with a student that has led to the arrest of a former substitute. CMS is fully assisting in the investigation. The substitute is no longer employed with the district since September 1st. This is a police matter and I have no more information that I may provide. Should you have any questions, please call the Mint Hill Police Department.
Barrett was hired by the district on March 30 of this year, according to officials with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. They say he did not substitute at any other CMS schools.
The officials said Barrett was removed as a substitute on September 1 and terminated on Thursday.
Law enforcement officials say they will examine Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools' hiring practices because Barrett had prior encounters with the law.
Barrett's next court date is September 27.
Anyone with further information about the case is asked to call the Mint Hill Police Department at 704-545-1085.
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