New sexual battery complaint against headmaster

March 15, 2012 1:20:07 PM PDT
Zebulon Police Chief Timothy Hayworth confirmed Thursday that his department is investigating a second sexual battery accusation filed by an employee at East Wake Academy against headmaster Brandon Smith.

"It was unwanted touching, but it's very early in the investigation," said Hayworth.

Smith was placed on administrative leave Wednesday following a closed door meeting of the school's board.

After that meeting, Smith told ABC11 he hasn't hurt anyone.

"I can tell you this. I continue to follow policy," said Smith. "I always put children first. I have not done anything wrong to harm anyone. If you want to talk to people, talk to the parents here. Some of the parents that you've interviewed are actually former employees that are disgruntled former employees. You put them on camera saying they were parents of the school but they are also employees with an ax to grind. Talk to my community. Talk to my staff. Talk to people."

School board members wouldn't comment on sexual harassment allegations.

It's not the first time Smith has faced a similar allegation.

According to court documents obtained by ABC11, a former chorus teacher at Githens Middle School in Durham filed a lawsuit against the Durham County Board of Education and Smith in 2001 alleging he repeatedly harassed her beginning in 1998 when he was principal at the school. The two sides reached a confidential agreement and the case was dismissed.

Smith became headmaster at East Wake Academy in 2002.

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