Wake teacher faces sex charges in Camden County case

Wake educator accused of abuse in Camden County

tmcdonald@newsobserver.comSeptember 20, 2012 

— Camden County sheriff’s investigators have charged a Creech Road Elementary School kindergarten teacher with 20 additional felony charges in a sex abuse case involving a 14-year-old boy in Camden County in 1999 and 2000.

Samuel Napol Byers, 40, of 6209 Shanda Drive, Apt. B, in Raleigh was jailed Wednesday and accused of five counts each of indecent liberties with a child and statutory rape, totaling 10 felony charges, according to a Raleigh police arrest report.

Since his initial arrest, Byers has been charged with 20 additional felony charges, according to detective Max Robeson of the Camden County sheriff’s office.

“There were 15 incidents involving the same boy,” Robeson said. Each incident merits two felony charges. The case will be heard by a grand jury in the next couple of months, according to Robeson.

Raleigh police arrested Byers at Creech Road Elementary on Garner Road, where he has worked since 2009.

Byers was pulled from the class that he was teaching and arrested, according to Mike Charbonneau, a spokesman for the Wake County Public School System.

Raleigh police became aware of the alleged incidents at 11 p.m. on July 26 when a 22-year-old Raleigh man called to talk with an officer, according to a police incident report made public Thursday.

A woman who answered the phone at the man’s home Thursday said, “He did what he thought was the right thing to do.”

The woman, who did not give her name, declined further comment.

Robeson said Camden County investigators were contacted by Raleigh police who had spoken with the man, whom he described as “a friend and companion” of Byers. Robeson said Byers allegedly had confided in the friend about the incident and the friend called the police to tell them about what had happened more than a decade ago.

Raleigh police were given a picture of a boy said to be the victim. They sent the picture of the unidentified youth to Camden County, and Robeson was able to identify and locate him.

“We found the victim, and he corroborated that he was sexually molested,” Robeson said. “He’s now 26, and he had never told anyone what had happened until now. He was embarrassed, ashamed — all the things a victim would be.”

The incidents took place between December 1999 and June 2000, Robeson said. Byers worked in Camden County then as a middle school teacher.

It is News & Observer policy to not identify the alleged victims of a sexual offense.

The 14-year-old was an eighth-grade student of Byers at an alternative learning program. He was the only student in the classroom. Investigators have accused Byers of molesting the student during school hours. The alleged victim currently lives in Elizabeth City, court records show.

Investigators have accused Byers of committing “lewd and lascivious” acts “upon the body” of the victim, court records show.

Byers left the school in June 2000, when his contracted ended.

Robeson said Byers moved to adjoining Pasquotank County and lived in Elizabeth City until 2002, when he moved to Wake County and was hired by Wake County Schools. He taught at East Cary Middle School for one year before transferring to Smith Elementary School in Garner, where he worked until 2009 before transferring again to Creech Road Elementary, Robeson said.

Jim Sughrue, a Raleigh police spokesman, said local investigators have launched an investigation to determine if any children who came into contact with Byers may have been victims of sex offenses.

“I’m concerned that this is not an isolated incident,” Robeson said.

Byers has been suspended with pay, according to Charbonneau.

Staff writer Amanda James contributed to this report.

McDonald: (919) 829-4533

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