Teacher accused of having sex with special needs student

Teacher accused of having sex with special needs student


by RAD BERKY / NewsChannel 36
E-mail Rad: RBerky@WCNC.com

Bio | Email | Follow: @RadBerkywcnc


Posted on May 26, 2010 at 1:40 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 26 at 5:42 PM

SHELBY, N.C. -- A former teacher at the North Shelby School for special needs students was charged Wednesday with having a sexual relationship with a student.

Nichole Chapman, 28, abruptly resigned her teaching job on Monday. On Wednesday, she was brought into the Cleveland County Magistrate's Office by two Shelby Police Department detectives.

As she was led in, she said, "There was no crime...Yes, I am innocent."

She was charged with two counts of taking indecent liberties with a student and two counts of committing a sexual offense with a student.

After appearing before the magistrate she challenged reporters to go talk to the 19-year-old male student and his mother. She said they "will tell you there was nothing happening."

Both the student, Vavaughia Snipes, and his mother agreed to speak to reporters.

"I ain't no victim," Snipes said.

He said Chapman and he became friends and he said she told him she was having marital problems. He said their relationship eventually became sexual and that their encounters took place at the house where he lives with his mother and family. His mother also told NewsChannel 36 that she approves of the relationship.

"If it is love, man, it's love," he said. "Nobody can stop this."

Snipes said he suffers from seizures and has a learning disability.

"I love her and she loved me so it ain't going to stop me from seeing her," he said.

Shelby Police Chief Jeff Ledford said any physical relationship between a teacher and a student, no matter what the age, is a crime.

Ledford said he was only mildly surprised that the suspect in this case was a woman. 

"It's just not something you hear every day and if you do read about it, it's someplace else," said the chief.