A former New Hanover County Special Ed Assistant has had 22 new charges added to his list of sex-related crimes involving minors.
As previously reported by this website, Nicholas Lavon Oates, age 39, was first charged July with one count of indecent liberties with a child and one count of statutory rape of a child under the age of 15.
According to WECT, 22 new charges have now been added. Excerpt with emphasis added:
Last week, a grand jury indicted Oates on those two initial charges, as well as four additional counts of indecent liberties with a child, six counts of statutory sex offense with a child under the age of 15, four counts of second-degree kidnapping, four counts of taking indecent liberties with a student, and four counts of sexual activity with a student.
Though he faced no disciplinary actions in his first 11 months on the job, at least based on public personnel information, Oates was suspended without pay on Dec. 2, 2016 while the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office investigated text messages exchanged between him and a female student.
The messages – at least some of which were sexually suggestive – were ultimately deemed not criminal, and Oates was reinstated on Dec. 13, 2016.
Oates is still being held under a $1 million dollar bond at the New Hanover County Detention Center.
According to New Hanover County Schools spokeswoman Valita Quattlebaum, Oates was hired at the Myrtle Grove Middle School on January 19, 2016.
New Hanover County Schools verified that Oates was suspended without pay in 2016 beginning on December 2nd running through 13th. Oates was suspended again on the same day as he tendered his resignation.
According to school officials, a background check was performed on Oates at the time of his hiring. Charges of DUI, failure to maintain lane, civil revocation of his license, failure to signal and a Hit and Run/Failure to stop were revealed to have been filed against him. All of these charges had taken place and had been dismissed before he was employed with New Hanover County Schools.
After leaving his position with New Hanover County Public Schools, Oates worked for Communities in Schools of Cape Fear (CISCF). He served as part of the CISCF staff for less than two months.
According to a CISCF spokesperson, Oates was a part-time after-school coordinator at the youth center, WIRE, from late October 2017 through the middle of December that same year.
Oates is the second New Hanover Public Schools teacher arrested since the start of the year.
2019 UPDATE: Oates passed away while in custody in November of 2019 while awaiting trial.