OWAN COUNTY, N.C. — A second North Carolina middle school teacher and another man, who is still on the run, have been charged with sex offenses against a female minor, the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday.
Deputies said they have since learned that another teacher at the school, 29-year-old Justin Andrew Avery, was also sending sexually explicit images to the student.
They said they also identified 24-year-old Donovan Perez Hernandez as another suspect during their investigation.
A family member of the victim, who did not want to be identified, said the family is angry but glad something is being done.
“We’re also feeling a little bit more relief to know that the truth is coming out now, and they’re doing everything they can to get justice," the family member said.
Avery, Grose and Hernandez are all charged with third-degree exploitation of a minor and indecent liberties with a child.
The victim’s family member said they think the exchange of photos began a year ago.
“School is supposed to be a place where you can learn, not a place where you’re manipulated, and your life has basically been taken from you,” the family member said. “I feel as if the whole school needs to be under investigation."
Deputies said Hernandez is not associated with the school district and is still on the run.
The family member said the victim didn't have a phone of her own but got access to one.
The victim is getting therapy, according to the family member.
"Justice will be served,’ the family member said. “If that means having to miss work, quit my job, whatever. Whatever the case may be, we will make sure justice is served.”
They’re asking anyone with information about where Hernandez might be to call 911 or Salisbury/Rowan Crime Stoppers at 1-866-639-5245.
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