Police seize headmaster's computers

April 18, 2012 2:18:21 PM PDT
Search warrants released Tuesday detail allegations of sexual assault against East Wake Academy Headmaster Brandon Smith.

The court documents also say police seized a desktop computer from his charter school office and were looking for two more laptops at his home. Zebulon Police Chief Timothy Hayworth said Smith and his attorney were cooperating and the laptops were turned over to investigators.

Smith's two accusers are not named in the warrants. The women are identified at "Victim #1" and Victim #2."

According to the warrants, both women claim they were inappropriately touched by Smith. When Victim #1 spoke with a senior staff member at the school about what allegedly happened, she said she was told to "play dumb and hope he went away, that she wasn't the only one!"

Victim #2 told police that Smith solicited her for sexual acts. She also said her access to the school's email system was cut off in an attempt to keep her from retrieving messages related to the accusations.

In their application for search warrants, investigators said they had reason to believe evidence related to their case was stored on Smith's computers.

Smith has been placed on administrative leave by the EWA Board of Directors. In a message to parents Tuesday, the board said "The board of directors and assistant headmasters wish to assure you that the well being and education of your children will continue to be their first priority. East Wake Academy has, and will continue to provide a safe environment in which students can learn and grow." The Zebulon Police Department said its investigation continues, but no charges have been filed.

Contacted by ABC11 earlier this month, Smith said he has not harmed anyone. Smith's attorney has threatened legal action against his accusers, claiming Smith has been defamed.

Smith has faced a similar allegation in the past.

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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