Sunday, September 13, 2015

Judge to Joan Dayton: "Our children'' a public trust - Fayetteville Observer: Crime & Courts

Joan Dayton let two assistant principals know, and in no uncertain terms.

"This is my school," the principal and co-founder of Freedom Christian Academy was telling Lin Wheeler and Hall Powers, according to an affidavit, who were concerned in 2012 about why she allowed a registered sex offender to perform odds jobs at the school. "I'm in charge here, and I can do whatever I want."

Paul Conner, 50, the registered sex offender, was arrested May 28 and charged with violating the Sex Offender Registration Act.

On Tuesday, Dayton stood before Cumberland County Superior Court Judge Jim Ammons and entered a plea of responsibility to aiding and abetting and conspiring with Conner's breach of the Sex Offender Registration Act on multiple occasions dating to 2010 at the private school.

"I am agreeing to what I did," Dayton, 64, told the judge. "I did know he was a past sex offender. It's a heavy price."

But Dayton, her lawyer said, was little more than a good-hearted woman trying to help someone along life's way.
"It was out of a sense of trying to do the Christian thing," Michael Boose told Ammons as he pleaded for a just and merciful sentence. "Trying to help someone put his past in the past. She was trying to encourage him."

Boose agreed with Billy West, the district attorney, that Dayton's act was "a lapse in judgment," no less a felony, but still.

Bill Kirby Jr.: Judge to Joan Dayton: "Our children'' a public trust - Fayetteville Observer: Crime & Courts

See also:

Freedom Christian founder placed on probation, banned from campus

Freedom Christian Academy co-founder receives probation in plea deal

NC Christian school co-founder knowingly hired sex offender and then covered it up, investigators say

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