Wake County teaching assistant charged with sex crimes involving student

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A teaching assistant at Wakefield High School is facing three felony sex charges involving a student. (WTVD/Courtesy: Raleigh-Wake City-County Bureau of Identification)

A former teaching assistant at Wakefield High School is facing three felony sex charges involving a student.

Anthony Harris, 27, resigned from his job Tuesday, mere hours before he was arrested. ABC11 has learned he's the son of a Wake County deputy.

Harris is charged with three counts of sex offense with a student. He was in court Wednesday for his first appearance.

"These are class G felonies," Judge Craig Croom explained to Harris in the courtroom. "You can receive up to 47 months in prison for this."

Police say the victim is an 18-year-old girl and the three incidents happened off school grounds.

Harris was a teaching assistant at Wakefield and just started working there at the beginning this school year. Before that, he was at Northwoods Elementary School in Cary.

"Safety of our students is a top priority of the Wake County Public School System," said school spokesperson Lisa Luten. "We are currently conducting an internal investigation of the incident, along with cooperating fully with Raleigh Police Department's investigation."

The district is making guidance counselors available to students who need support.

Harris is out on bond and has been ordered to have no contact with the victim. He is due back in court March 4.

Harris is the second Wake County teacher charged with a sex crime in a week. Broughton High School teacher Ronald Chewning is also behind bars. He is accused of having sex with one of his students for months.

Parents are now questioning the district ability to hire trustworthy professionals to teach students.

"Who hires these people? Who hires them? What are the criteria they are following to hire somebody," said Wakefield parent Luisana Briceno "It's kind of scary because this is the community school where our children are going."

Wake County Public Schools released a statement which said, "Our school system runs background checks on all potential employees. Please understand that we must respect the privacy rights of our students and will not make any further statements that will compromise the investigation."

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