Teacher charged in sexual assault


CHARLOTTE (AP) — Police in Charlotte have charged a former teacher at a preschool with six counts of indecent liberties with a child in connection with a pair of incidents.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said in a statement Monday that its Crimes Against Children Unit was notified on March 7 of a forcible fondling incident at the Primrose School of Ballantyne involving an 8-year-old boy.

During the investigation, detectives learned that a 7-year-old boy was also fondled at the school. Both incidents occurred while 35-year-old Joseph Starnes was a teacher at the school.

Starnes was arrested on Friday. He’s being held in the Mecklenburg County jail under $180,000 bond. It’s not known if he has an attorney.

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