PINETOPS, N.C. (WNCN) — An ex-custodian/bus driver at an Edgecombe County middle school is facing new charges after more students came forward in a child sex offense case, deputies said Monday.
Stephen Moore Wells, 68, of Pinetops was initially arrested earlier this month and charged after a nearly month-long investigation, according to the Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office. He is now facing three new counts of indecent liberties with a minor, officials said.
The investigation began on Sept. 8, when the Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office was notified by the principal of South Edgecombe Middle School in Pinetops of an alleged sexual assault that happened the day before.
A sheriff’s detective responded to the scene and through investigation learned that the suspect, Wells, had touched a 14-year-old student, the sheriff’s office said.
That student was taken to Jo Ann’s Place Child Advocacy Center to be interviewed. During that interview, the student said there were two more students she witnessed Wells touch. Those two students were aged 12 and 13, and their parents were notified immediately, according to the sheriff’s office.
Those students were later interviewed and disclosed they had been touched inappropriately by Wells.
On Oct. 5, the sheriff’s detective activated warrants for three counts of misdemeanor sexual battery and one count of felony indecent liberties with a child.
On that same day, sheriff’s detectives and deputies responded to the accused teacher’s residence in Pinetops and took him into custody.
Since the arrest, the Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office along with Edgecombe County Public Schools had more victims to come forward in the case, deputies said Monday.
“Several more children went for a forensic interview in this case,” the news release said.
Wells was arrested again Monday and faces the new charges.
Wells was initially charged and placed into the Edgecombe County Detention Center under a $40,000 secured bond.
After the new charges on Monday, Wells was given a $10,000 secured bond and held in the detention center.
Edgecombe County Public Schools told CBS 17 on Oct. 6 that Wells was no longer employed with the school system.