Skip to comments.Dothan teacher facing new sex charge
Posted on 07/24/2011 1:18:05 PM PDT by camerongood210
A Dothan teacher arrested last week on a sex crime charge involving a student now faces at least one additional charge for allegedly molesting the same 16-year-old male student.
Dothan police investigators talked about some of the evidence in their case against 30-year-old Calvin Bell-Tharpe at a bond reduction hearing Monday.
Attorney Shaun McGhee, who represents Bell-Tharpe, asked the court to reduce his clients current $175,000 bond. Dothan police arrested Bell-Tharpe on Friday on a charge based on a recently enacted law of a school employee having sex with a student.
District Court Judge Benjamin Lewis denied Bell-Tharpe's bond reduction request late Monday afternoon.
McGhee said his client is not a flight risk, had nearly a dozen relatives who attended the hearing.
He actually has no ties to anywhere outside this county, McGhee said. He has no prior infractions with the law, not even a speeding ticket.
McGhee asked the court to reduce the bond in the case to a reasonable amount.
Its not a violent type of crime, McGhee said. We just want a fair amount set.
Houston County District Attorney Doug Valeska said a second charge of misdemeanor sexual misconduct will be filed against Bell-Tharpe by detectives on Tuesday.
A teacher should know not to have contact or give rides to students, Valeska said. We dont think the bond is excessive. Children must be protected at all cost.
Dothan police Investigator Reyna Johnson said the alleged victim in the case was a 16-year-old boy who was a student at Northview.
Johnson said the allegations stem from the victim being picked up twice and taken to a home that belonged to a relative of Bell-Tharpe. She said on the first occasion the two ate dinner together. Johnson said the offenses occurred on the second occasion, after the victim had apparently fallen asleep on a couch while watching television.
He was asleep, and it woke him up, Johnson said. He (Bell-Tharpe) then invited him back to the bedroom in the house for sex. He says he did not consent to it, that he felt pressured or forced to do it.
Johnson said the sexual assault reportedly lasted anywhere from a few minutes up to an hour.
Valeska said prosecutors planned to take the case to a Houston County grand jury this week. Johnson also testified of a revealing Facebook conversation between Bell-Tharpe and the student that included such phrases as Be real pretty boy. She also testified Bell-Tharpe allegedly sought pictures of the student through the Facebook conversation.
Johnson also said police are investigating Bell-Tharpes cell phone usage.
He sent a picture of graphic nature by cell phone to the victim, Johnson said.
Johnson said during cross examination by McGhee that police did not find out about the allegations until May. But she said there had been an ongoing internal investigation by the school since November 2010. She acknowledged Bell-Tharpe remained employed as a teacher during the schools investigation.
Johnson said the offenses allegedly happened between Halloween and Thanksgiving of 2010.
Dothan Police Sgt. Doug MaGill testified that Bell-Tharpe admitted to sending the graphic cell phone image by mistake. MaGill said Bell-Tharpe told police he meant to send the image to his girlfriend.
Mr. Bell-Tharpe denied taking him to any house, but had driven him to get food, and given him a ride home, MaGill said.
MaGill said police acquired a search warrant for Bell-Tharpes Denton Road home where they seized four computers and four cell phones.
According to the Northview High website, Bell-Tharpe has been a Dothan educator for five years, since January 2006. The schools website also said Bell-Tharpe works as an art teacher and is the head tennis coach for the school. The website also said Bell-Tharpe graduated from Dothan High School and later earned bachelors and masters degrees from Troy University.
Also, here is an earlier article on the matter.
Teachers Gone Wild. I wish the “teachers” unions would get their people under control.
GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I hereby take it upon myself to sentence him to 10 days in the electric chair!
A two-name person. Thus guilty.