ROWAN COUNTY, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - A Rowan County middle school teacher has been arrested and charged with a sex crime involving a child, according to the Rowan County Sheriff's Office.
Mark Robert Dexter, 42, was taken into custody Wednesday and charged with taking indecent liberties with a student.
Deputies received a complaint on Monday, Sept 18, from a family member of an Erwin Middle School student regarding inappropriate messages being exchanged between the child and a teacher.
Investigators say they found that the teacher was communicating to the student via Facebook messenger and it involved content that places the two in what appeared to be an online relationship.
From evidence obtained, the available messages date back to September 9, 2017, and indicate the teacher was making plans for the student to come to his home; however no evidence suggests it had occurred yet.
Over the course of 8 days, thousands of messages were exchanged resulting in over 400 pages of evidence in the case, according to investigators.
Date and time stamps of the evidence show that Dexter was sending messages while he was still at the school from his personal cell phone. Deputies say the victim was not a student of Dexter, however she was known to him in the school setting.
According to the report, Dexter admitted to exchanging the messages with the victim. Digital evidence from both the victim and suspect’s electronic devices were obtained along with the data from Facebook.
Investigators worked closely with the Rowan County District Attorney’s Office, and on Wednesday, September 20, 2017, Dexter was arrested at his Granite Quarry home and placed in the Rowan County Detention Center under a $150,000 secured bond.
After further investigation, Mark Robert Dexter was charged with a 2nd charge of indecent liberties with the same student on Friday, September 22. Mark Dexter was given an additional $75,000 secured bond to be added to the original bond of $150,000.
This is still an open and active investigation and investigators are continuing to review evidence and speak with potential witnesses. Additional charges may be pending.