Bond set at $2.5M for Durham school resource officer facing sex charges

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Bond has been set at $2.5 million for a Durham school resource officer charged with multiple sexual offenses with a minor. (WTVD)

Bond has been set at $2.5 million for a Durham school resource officer charged with multiple sexual offenses with a minor.

The Durham County Sheriff's Office confirmed Monday that Deputy Chris Kelly has been charged with:

- Statutory Sex Offense with a Child
- First Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
- Second Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
- Indecent Liberties with a Child
- Sex Acts with a Student
- Second Degree Kidnapping

Kelly, who had previously been under an internal investigation, was let go by the Sheriff's Office on April 28. He was arrested on Monday.

On Tuesday, he made his first court appearance where his bail was kept at $2.5 million. He was also ordered to stay away from Durham public schools and have no contact with the victim, who filed a civil restraining order.

The Durham County Public School System said Kelly worked at Hillside High School as a resource officer and did off-duty work as a contract officer at Northern High School.

According to search warrants, the former deputy was pulled over for speeding in April and a teenage girl was found hiding outside the vehicle when officers approached it.

Search warrants of his home and electronics revealed explicit video chat messages. In one message Kelly says he would like to sleep with a student and investigators found a letter from the victim and another female student on his dresser.

Over the course of the investigation, the father of the victim became concerned after seeing images of the suspect on his daughter's phone. The father saved some of the files and gave them to detectives.

A parent also noticed some inappropriate hugging at school between the two.

The warrant says the suspect became a mentor for the girl while she was in middle school. That relationship carried over when the victim entered high school.

"When one of our own is accused of abusing the trust we work hard to earn, it is both disheartening and devastating to all involved," Durham Sheriff Mike Andrews said in a written release. "Our thoughts are with the family at the center of this ongoing investigation."

Durham Public Schools released the following statement later in the day:

"All of us, DPS staff members and partners alike, are in positions of the highest responsibility. We are very concerned about our student at this time.

"The Durham County Office of the Sheriff informed us that former Deputy Kelly was under investigation and had been suspended in mid-April. When we were made aware on April 26 of the nature of the allegations against him, we immediately barred him from contact with our students and schools.

"To protect our student's privacy, we will not release any personal information including the student's name or which school the student attended."

Kelly's next court appearance is scheduled for July 19.

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