Teacher charged with sex with student

Rodney Donnell Ellis (Image courtesy Harnett County Sheriff's Office)

December 14, 2010 8:59:26 PM PST
A former instructor at Western Harnett High School is facing allegations that he had sex with a student.

Rodney Donnell Ellis, 38, of Brookhannah Court in Fuquay-Varina, is charged with a felony.

Authorities say the alleged victim is a 17-year-old student at Harnett Central High School. It's where Harnett County Superintendent Phil Ferrell says Ellis worked at for the past three school years as a special needs teacher and assistant football coach, before transferring to Western Harnett at the beginning of the school year to pick up similar duties.

It's believed the teacher may have gotten to know the victim during his time at Harnett Central.

The investigation into Ellis' alleged sexual encounter began after the mother of the student contacted the school system and reported Ellis had sex with her daughter at her home in Angier the day after Thanksgiving.

After receiving the information from the parent, Ferrell contacted the Harnett County Sheriff's Office and requested an investigation into the allegation.

School leaders say Ellis resigned his teaching position at Western Harnett High School on November 29, two days after the investigation into the sex charges began.

Ellis was arrested Thursday and placed in the Harnett County Jail under a $10,000 bond.

He was able to post bond and is now awaiting his next court date.

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