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Former Erwin teacher faces more charges in indecent liberties case

Suspect

Mark Robert Dexter

By Shavonne Walker
shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — A former Erwin Middle School teacher faces new charges related to exchanging inappropriate Facebook messages with a student.

Mark Robert Dexter, 42, of Granite Quarry, was charged Thursday with felony indecent liberties with children following an investigation by Rowan County Sheriff’s detectives. Authorities say this newest charge stems from the same victim, who was not taught by Dexter but did attend Erwin Middle School.

He was given an added bond of $75,000, bringing his total bond to $225,000. Dexter remains in the Rowan County Detention Center. He was initially charged Wednesday with indecent liberties with a student.

Authorities said on Monday, the Sheriff’s Office received a complaint from the family of the female student. Investigators discovered Dexter had been communicating with the girl via Facebook messenger. Officials say it does appear that the student and Dexter were in an online relationship. The age of the student has not been released.

Facebook messages show Dexter was making plans to have the student come to his home, but authorities said evidence shows that meeting did not occur. The two had exchanged thousands of messages, which date back to Sept. 9 and culminate in over 400 pages of evidence.

He resigned from his position on Wednesday. He taught math and social studies at Erwin Middle, where he’d been employed since August 2005. Dexter began his teaching career with Rowan-Salisbury Schools at Morgan Elementary School in 2004. He was arrested at his home late Wednesday.

The school system is providing extra counselors for students and staff. A school system spokeswoman said that, while they can’t address specific incidents, they are sad and heartbroken anytime the system receives reports of inappropriate conduct towards any students.

Anyone with additional information involving this suspect should contact Rowan Sheriff’s Detective Ryan Barkley at 704-216-8739.

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