BURLINGTON, N.C. (WGHP) — A former Christian school coach who is accused of being involved in an inappropriate relationship with a student denied the allegations during a court appearance on Tuesday.

Marissa Faye Carter, 23, of Burlington, was a volunteer cheer coach at Burlington Christian Academy for four years.

Her lawyer, Julian Doby, says Carter and the alleged victim knew each other and were close family friends.

The alleged victim was not on the cheer team and is almost 18 years old.

“My client and her family are very close with this family and the alleged victim… up until these charges, they’ve all been in constant contact and all have denied that any inappropriate relationship took place,” Doby said. “I wanted everyone to see her face today and know that this is not some monster or predator here. She’s a real human being, and she denies totally these allegations.”

Doby went on to say the alleged victim did not call the police or notify the school.

The school reportedly received an anonymous complaint from a parent that was not related to the alleged victim.

The director of Burlington Christian Academy, Mary Martin, says the school was told about the allegations in mid-April in an anonymous email from a concerned parent.

The director then reached out to the student’s parents about what she called “serious allegations” in the email.

After speaking with the parents, the director told Burlington police about the email and says they began investigating to see if there was probable cause to bring charges against Carter.

The Burlington Police Department says officers worked to confirm the allegations and the relationship between Carter and one student.

No other students were found to have been involved.

A news release from the BPD says Carter was arrested and charged with:

  • One count of felony sex act with a student
  • One count of felony indecent liberties with a student

She was initially held in the Alamance County Jail under a $10,000 secured bond and has since been released.

She is due back in court on July 12.