A former high school band teacher was arrested on sex charges after a young woman wrote in an essay in her college newspaper that he got her pregnant -- and took her to get an abortion -- when she was his student.
The essay, "I had an affair with my high school teacher," used some fake names but identified the Winston-Salem school, and the principal there tipped off authorities. It was originally written for a composition class at North Carolina Central University and appeared in the campus paper this month.
The essay, which describes a relationship that started when the student was 17 and her teacher 24, begins with a description of the abortion. "The sound of the vacuum still rings in my ears almost three years later," she wrote. "He had taken me to Greensboro because he was scared of someone from school or anyone catching us together at the abortion clinic -- didn't want anyone 'getting the wrong idea.' "
The teacher, Terry Lamar Jones, now 28, turned himself in on Monday and was charged with 64 felony counts of sex with a student, each one punishable by 15 months in prison. He was jailed on $500,000 bail.
His attorney, David Freedman, said: "People are quick to judge in matters when people are charged, especially when a teacher is accused of having a relationship with a student."
The woman, now a college junior, used her real name in the essay, and it was published along with a photo, but the Associated Press is not identifying her because police consider her a victim of a sex crime.
In the essay, she changed the name of her former teacher, as well as that of another student she said had a sexual relationship with, and all but one reference to her alma mater, Parkland High.
Jones left the Winston-Salem school system in November 2008. Freedman and district officials would not give details about his departure, saying only that he had no demotions or suspensions and submitted a letter of resignation.
The age of consent in North Carolina is 16, but Jones was charged under a law that makes it a crime for a teacher to have sex with a student at the same school. It is a misdemeanor if the teacher is less than four years older than the student and a felony if the teacher is four or more years older.
The student wrote that she still feels guilt about the relationship.
"I am still scarred by the experience. I lost my only friends and abused and embarrassed myself by sleeping with a teacher and having an abortion," she said. "A lot of girls can talk the talk, but we all have to be aware of that guilty walk that comes along with the territory."