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Teacher being investigated for sex crimes at time of death

4-23-2012 North Carolina:

REDELL COUNTY, N.C. — A former Iredell County teacher was being investigated for 24 counts of molestation with a student at the time of his death, Iredell County deputies said.

Deputies confirmed Monday afternoon that they were one day away from charging 31-year-old Alan Payne, but he killed himself during the investigation.

On Monday, parents asked why the school did not tell them about the investigation.

“This is appalling,” said one student’s mother, who asked not to be identified to protect the identity of her daughter. “She was devastated to find out he had committed suicide and then to have the information trickle down that he was accused of such a horrendous crime. She doesn’t know what to think.”

The accusations against Payne include two dozen counts of rape, indecent liberties and sex with a minor, a 14-year-old student. He was allegedly involved with the student for more than eight months.

Iredell-Statesville Schools suspended Payne as soon as the investigation began, but parents were never told anything, not even after Payne was found dead.

“It doesn’t make sense to me,” she said. “They should have been honest from the beginning. When they called parents on Wednesday night and told them of his death, they should have told the whole truth. Without the knowledge, we can’t help our kids, and they neglected to be responsible.”

The district responded, saying it did not release the information as a matter of policy.

The school district said it does not disclose accusations without sufficient evidence because false accusations could damage reputations.

As for the investigation into Payne, deputies were able to release the report detailing the accusations because the case is now considered closed. ..Source.. by WSOC

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