A Franklin County Public Schools employee has been charged with the sexual exploitation of a minor.
Jeremy Ward Crawford, age 37, was charged with 10 counts of first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor after he turned himself in to the Warren County Sheriff’s Office. Crawford was released on a $75,000 bond.
The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation Computer Crimes Division conducted a lengthy joint investigation which resulted in Crawford being charged.
Michelle Fiscus, Director of Communications Franklin County Schools confirmed to this reporter that Crawford was a testing coordinator at Franklinton High School and began employment with the district on 10/17/14.
Fiscus confirmed Crawford received a background check “with a private vendor” and was fingerprinted at the County sheriff’s office prior to starting work.
There is a teacher license on file for the state for a “Jeremy Ward Crawford” that was issued in July 2018 for the areas of 6-8 Social Studies and School Administrator: Principal.
A statement from the district was issued:
Franklin County Schools suspended an employee without pay after charges were filed as part of a joint Franklin County Sheriff’s Department/State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) task force investigation. The employee had previously been suspended with pay as the investigation unfolded.
The Franklin County Sheriff’s Department formally charged Mr. Jeremy Crawford with multiple counts all related to soliciting pornographic images through electronic media. The district took action against Mr. Crawford immediately after law enforcement briefed school officials. Further employment action against Mr. Crawford may be taken pending an internal investigation.
Mr. Crawford is employed as a testing coordinator at Franklinton High School. He held that role since October 2014. Prior to this incident, he did not have a negative employment action taken against him.
The district was deeply saddened to learn about these allegations. However, the well-being and safety of students and staff is our top priority at all times. Counselors and other crisis support will be provided to the school as long as necessary.
Franklin County Schools has and will continue to cooperate with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and SBI in this investigation.
Anyone with information on this case is encouraged to contact Detective L. Nobles at 919-340-4373.
Last week, this site reported that a Franklin County Teacher had been charged with animal cruelty. Chris Phillips Wright, age 61, was charged with animal cruelty after a Yorkie terrier was found neglected in her home. Wright is currently suspended with pay from her position at Cedar Creek Middle School.