ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. – An Erwin Middle School teacher was arrested Wednesday after investigators said he had an inappropriate relationship with a student.
According to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, deputies received a complaint on September 18 from the victim’s family that a teacher shared messages with the student. Detectives said that Mark Robert Dexter, 42, was communicating with the student via Facebook Messenger, and the content within the messages indicated an improper relationship.
Investigators said that Dexter was making plans for the student to come to his home, using evidence and messages dating back to September 9, 2017. Over the course of eight days, Dexter and the victim exchanged thousands of messages, but police said it doesn’t appear the student went to Dexter’s home. According to the time stamps on some of the messages, Dexter was contacting the student from his personal cell phone while at school. The victim was not a student in Dexter’s class, but she was not known to him outside of the school.
When confronted by detectives, Dexter admitted to messaging the victim. He was arrested at his home Wednesday and charged with taking indecent liberties with a student. He was given a $150,000 bond.
Police say the investigation is active and additional charges against Dexter may be pending.
Rowan Salisbury Schools released the following statement Thursday:
"While we cannot address specific incidents, we are sad and heartbroken anytime we receive reports of inappropriate conduct towards any of our students.
We have policies and procedures in place to handle these situations immediately. We are also fortunate to have excellent relationships with law enforcement as we partner together to conduct investigations and to keep our students and schools safe.
We will continue moving forward in keeping safety a top priority in our schools."