Ex-Durham teacher accused of sex offenses gets lawyer, court date
A former teacher at Jordan High School accused of a sex offense with a student appeared in Durham County District Court today, and was appointed a public defender and told to return to court in November.
Michelle Smith White, 37, of Pinrith Drive in Durham, hurried out of the courtroom with her attorney and an unidentified man after a brief hearing. She refused to respond to a reporter's questions.
In a related matter, an informed source told The Herald-Sun this morning that at least one other person could be charged in connection with the case.
White is charged with engaging in a sex offense with a Jordan student and taking indecent liberties with her.
She is out on bond until the hearing, set for 9 a.m. Nov. 5 in Durham County District Court.
Deputy Paul Sherwin with the Durham County Sheriff's Office, which is investigating the case, said White started a friendship with the female student in 2012, when the girl was 15. "Sometime between 2012 and most recently, that evolved into a sexual relationship," Sherwin said. "The exact time frame of when that happened, we are still looking into."
Sherwin said the alleged relationship was brought to investigators' attention by the girl's parents.
"Even if the student thought she was capable of consenting to that type of relationship, the law says she is not," Sherwin said." He said that in North Carolina, it is illegal for teachers to engage in sexual conduct with a student.
Sherwin said investigators searching her home found evidence that could lead to more charges.
So far, White is the only person charged in the case.
White had worked at Jordan High School as a dance teacher from March 1997 until she resigned in April, Durham Public Schools officials said.