Last Friday afternoon, May 16, Paula Renee Anglin, 43, of Franklin turned herself in at the Macon County Detention Center on an outstanding arrest warrant for feloniously disseminating obscene materials
to a minor. According to the warrant that was issued for her arrest, it is believed that the acts occurred between Jan. 1, 2014, through May 9, 2014.
Anglin was employed as a receptionist at Macon Middle School (MMS) and was placed on suspension indefinitely before being terminated at Monday's Board of Education meeting.
Just last week, MMS math teacher and junior varsity baseball coach, Jeff Rousselle was arrested for indecent liberties with a child and indecent liberties with a student. After being placed on leave, he offered his resignation from the school system. Though the investigations are unrelated, the Rousselle incident brought staffers and students forward with other possible violations that led to the charges against Anglin.
Initial statements were offered by MMS staff members that indicated that Anglin had sent inappropriate photos via cell phone to a 14-year-old student. As a result, MCSO Juvenile Detectives conducted interviews with staff and juveniles and seized items as part of their investigation.
“It is my opinion thus far that Mrs. Anglin violated the trust of her co-workers, the students, and the community as a whole,” said Sheriff Robert Holland. “Mrs. Anglin was one of the members of the community who should have been looking out for the best interest of her students and who was responsible for keeping them safe. By her own admission, Anglin was involved with inappropriate activities that was detrimental to those she was responsible for protecting.”
In a statement released by the Macon County Board of Education, since the matter is related to personnel, the BOE and its administration are obligated to maintain confidentiality and cannot provide any other information regarding the investigation but Superintendent Dr. Chris Baldwin says that he hopes students, parents and other members of the community won't take the actions of some out on the school as a whole.
"This past week has been difficult for the entire Macon County School system because two of our own employees have been criminally charged with putting some of our students in harm's way," he said. "Our primary concern is for the students directly involved in this investigation and for their families. It is unfortunate that the Macon Middle School family, teachers, students and parents are being unfairly painted by the same brush as the individuals who have been charged in this investigation."
He also said that the school system will continue to work closely with law enforcement and parents to develop a plan that will work to protect the children of the community from future incidents of this nature.
“I encourage everyone to 'parent up' and know who and what your kids are doing on the internet and who they are doing it with,” said Holland. “Don't wait until your child becomes a victim to educate yourselves because chances are, someone is already surfing the internet and looking for their next victim, and it could be in your own home and right under a parent's nose.”
Anglin's bond was set at $15,000. She posted bond around 5 p.m. on Friday afternoon. According to the release order, she is to have no contact with the alleged victim be it directly or indirectly. Her initial court date is scheduled for May 22.
Anyone who may have further information related to this case or any other crimes involving children may contact the Macon County Sheriff's Juvenile Officers at (828)349-2104.
On Wednesday May 21, Rousselle attended a bond hearing at the Macon County Courthouse to request a lower bond. The original amount of $75,000, according to his lawyer Rich Cassady, was too extreme for a Class I felony.
"You've had a similar incident with a secretary at Macon Middle School and another man from Otto, N.C. who was arrested for possessing child porn. The bond in those cases was set at $15,000 and $10,000," Cassady told the court. "His parents are trying to bond him out, but it's just too high."
Cassady asked Judge Bradley Letts to consider a $15,000 bond to which District Attorney Jason Arnold reminded the court that the difference in those cases was the lack of physical contact. After some consideration, Letts reduced the bond to $50,000 on the condition that Rousselle will live at his mother's home in Lenoir and only leave Caldwell County if he is attending a court date or going to Cassady's office.
Other conditions include no contact with any minors in any fashion; must contact Detective Amy Stewart every Tuesday and Thursday; and he may only have one cell phone.
Rousselle will next appear in court on July 21.