LUMBERTON — A former school teacher with the Public Schools of Robeson County entered an Alford plea this week to a misdemeanor sex crime and will be a registered sex offender the rest of his life.
Mark Anthony Adams, 52, now a resident of High Point, worked as a teacher with the county system from August 2006 through May 2011, leaving after he was accused of touching a 15-year-old female student at Red Springs High School.
Adams took an Alford plea to the charge of sexual assault and battery of a female student, a misdemeanor, after a jury deadlocked on the charge of indecent liberities with a child, which is a felony. Assistant District Attorney Joe Osman, who prosecuted the case, said that the incident happened during school hours at Red Springs High.
According to Osman, an Alford plea is “where the defendant doesn’t admit to guilt but admits that there is enough evidence to convict him.” The judicial system treats it the same as a guilty verdict for sentencing purposes.
Adams was given a suspended sentence of 18 months of probation. He also has to pay $364.50 in fines.
District Attorney Johnson Britt said the victim’s mother agreed to the plea arrangment after the jury deadlocked 8 to 4 to convict because she wanted to make sure Adams would have to register as a sex offender.