Former Fayetteville principal charged with sex crimes


David Ellis Edwards, 49, of Tobago Place is charged with two counts of second-degree forcible sex offense, two counts of sexual acts with a student, and five counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor. Judge Tal Baggett added Edwards is also facing crimes against nature charges.

Detectives say there are at least three alleged victims. The sex acts allegedly took place at Ramsey Street Alternative and Douglas Byrd Middle Schools.

Deputies said the victims told them that, between 2009 to 2011, they were touched inappropriately or were forced to participate in sexual acts with Edwards on two school campuses- Douglas Byrd Middle and Ramsey Street Alternative.

The victims, all males, were between the ages of 11 and 14 years old. On at least one occasion, the crimes were committed while a parent unknowingly sat in a waiting area in the office of the school.

According to sources, Edwards pastors First Missionary Baptist Church in St. Pauls.

Edwards was arrested this Friday after turning himself in to detectives. He resigned from his position as principal six weeks ago, telling Cumberland County Schools it was for educational opportunities. At the time, the system said they were not aware of the pending investigation.

Bond was set at $140,000. As long as Edwards faces the charge, a judge has ordered him to stay away from anyone under the age of 16.

Edwards made a first appearance in a Cumberland County Courtroom Friday afternoon. He declined to comment to ABC1. Edwards' attorney Jim Parrish told ABC11 his client is not guilty.

Deputies are asking any other victims to come forward. They can call the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office at (910) 323-1500.

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