Knightdale High School teaching assistant accused of sexual contact with student

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A man working as a teaching assistant at a Wake County school acted inappropriately with a student during the 2017-2018 school year, according to the Raleigh Police Department.

Xavier Kearney, 22, faces criminal charges related to sexual contact with a student.

Wake County Public School System confirmed that Kearney was a teaching assistant at Knightdale High School. He was hired in August 2017. He had since been working at Wake Forest High School.

According to court documents, the alleged incidents started less than three weeks after Kearney took the job.

"I think that it's pretty terrible and pretty scary," said Elaura Eberle, a parent of a Knightdale High student. "My stepdaughter goes here and she's 14. That's not really the kind of thing we want happening. I'm sure no parent wants that happening at all."

Kearney resigned from his most recent job, at Wake Forest High, the school system confirmed.

"That's why you have to parent your kids," said James Tate, who also has a child at Knightdale High. "You can't expect the school to do it. You can't expect afterschool, you can't expect the coaches to do it. It starts with your home."

WCPSS Communications Director Lisa Luten said the alleged incident did not involve a student in Kearney's class and it did not occur at a Wake County school or during school hours.

Luten said that as soon as the allegations were brought to the administration's attention, they were reported to police.

In court Monday, the judge told Kearney that the two felony charges are both punishable by up to 47 months in prison.

After his court appearance, ABC11 approached Kearney, who said he had "no comment."

The victim was 16 at the time of incidents, which happened between September of 2017 and May of this year, according to court documents.

In a letter, Knightdale High School's principal, Dr. Jim Argent, said the school is conducting its own investigation.
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