A former Union County Public Schools teaching assistant was arrested on multiple sex crimes charges involving a minor.
Jalen Dewayne Witherspoon, age 28, was arrested by the Union County Sheriff’s Office on Feb. 15 and was charged with two counts of first degree Statutory Sexual Offense, two counts of Sexual Activity with a Student, and three counts of Indecent Liberties with a Child.
All of the charges are felonies.
Depending on the particulars of the sex offense charge, Witherspoon could be facing a Class B1 felony that carries a sentence of 144 months to life without parole.
Sex act with a student is a Class G felony that can carry a sentence of 8 to 31 months in prison per instance.
The indecent liberties charge is a Class F felony with a possible sentence of 10 to 41 months in jail per charge.
Witherspoon bonded out of custody on Feb. 16, however, the bond type and amount are not known.
The Union County Sheriff’s Office (UCSO) issued a statement on Facebook about the arrest.
“The criminal investigation conducted by UCSO detectives leading up to this arrest began earlier this month after Witherspoon, a former teacher’s assistant at Sun Valley High School, was accused of sexual misconduct with an underage student and was removed from his position at the school,” the UCSO statement reads in part.
“The Union County Sheriff’s Office began our investigation into this matter the moment we were notified of the allegations being made by the victim,” Union County Sheriff Eddie Cathey said. ” The defendant was removed from his position of authority swiftly by the Union County Public School system and we will continue our investigation until all leads have been addressed.”
The investigation into this matter is ongoing and the USCO asks that anyone with information on the case call at (704)283-3789 or Union County Crime Stoppers at (704)283-5600.
Witherspoon had been a teaching assistant at Sun Valley High School located in Monroe, North Carolina.
Union County Public Schools has not yet released an official statement.
There is no NC teaching license on file with the state for Witherspoon.
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