A now-former Guilford County Public Schools teacher has been arrested on statutory rape and indecent liberties charges.
As of Mar. 13, 2023, there are updates to this case involving new charges.
Mark Johnson Jr, age 34, was first arrested on Feb. 24 and was charged with two counts of first-degree statutory rape and two counts of indecent liberties with a child.
The statutory rape charge is a class B1 felony punishable by a sentence of 144 months to life without parole. The indecent liberties charge is a class I felony that carries a prison sentence of between three to 12 months.
Johnson was issued a $1 million bond and remained in custody.
Warrant information for the Feb. 24 arrest stated that the “involved parties are student-athletes.” The investigation was ongoing and additional charges have been added.
Johnson has been charged with two more counts of indecent liberties and two counts of statutory rape/sex offense of a 13,14,15-year-old by a person 6 years older, according to a Mar. 13 update to his incarceration record.
Johnson’s current bond amount now stands at $2 million and he remains incarcerated at the Greensboro Detention Center in Guilford County.
When Johnson was arrested, parents at Page High received the following message from the school’s Principal Erik Naglee:
Good morning. This is principal Erik Naglee with information about a serious matter that involves our school.
You may hear news reports regarding a former teacher accused of inappropriate conduct with a minor. This person is no longer employed by Guilford County Schools.
This news is deeply concerning, and we take any allegations like this very seriously. We have been working closely with law enforcement throughout this investigation.
This type of behavior will not be tolerated at Page High or anywhere in Guilford County Schools.
If your child would like to speak with someone about the situation, our counseling staff is available. If you have information to share regarding the investigation, you may contact the Greensboro Police Department at 336-373-2222.
Johnson was working at Page High School at the time of his arrest. He began working in the district on Aug. 16, 2022, and was employed as both a teacher and coach.
According to the district, Johnson resigned from his position on Feb. 22 without giving the statutorily required 30 days’ notice. The statute also states the district’s superintendent is required to report this arrest to the N.C. State Board of Education.
“Student safety is very important to us, and this kind of behavior will simply not be tolerated at Page High School or in Guilford County Schools,” the district said in a statement. “GCS and Page High School have cooperated fully with law enforcement on the investigation throughout this process. We will continue to provide support to the Page campus.”
The license on file with the state for “Mark Johnson, Jr.” was issued in July 2022 in the area of Business Information Technology Education. The license expires in June 2027 but may be revoked if Johnson is convicted or if he surrenders the license.
Fox 8 reported that Johnson was looked at for misconduct in the past while working for Guilford County Public Schools:
“One thing that [the victim] told the Greensboro police officers was that Mr. Johnson told her this wasn’t his first time, that he had been accused of being involved with a student before in High Point,” Assistant District Attorney Kelly Thompson said in court on Monday.
Less than five years prior to these charges, from March 2017 to April 2018, Johnson worked as a substitute teacher for Guilford County Schools, the district confirmed. As a substitute, he worked at Andrews High School, Eastern Guilford High School, Smith High School, Mendenhall Middle School and Sternberger Elementary School.
Detectives located a 2019 report in which, Thompson says, “there were allegations of some sexually inappropriate conduct with Mr. Johnson. However, Mr. Johnson resigned from the school system and the allegations went nowhere and then was hired back into the Guilford County school system.”
To recap: Johnson was allowed to resign and then worked in the school where he is facing the current charges. In other words, Guilford County Public Schools “passed the trash,” allowing the resignation and subsequent reassignment.
This website has asked the district if they reported the current resignation and arrest to the state board of education. The district said a public records request had to be filed for that information. That request for information was filed on Mar. 1. The documentation has not yet been provided, however, a district spokesperson confirmed the situation with Johnson has been reported to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
The Fox 8 report included a statement from the district related to past suspicions tied to Johnson:
“Guilford County Schools conducts criminal background and reference checks for all newly hired employees. Additionally, the district requires that any suspicion of sexual misconduct is reported to law enforcement.
“Following a background check, Mark Johnson, Jr. had no charge or conviction related to sexual misconduct prior to February 24, 2023.”
GCS issued the following statement regarding Johnson’s employment with the district:
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