Former PCA counselor arrested for allegedly molesting student

Former PCA counselor arrested for allegedly molesting student
John Carter (Source: Angelina County Jail)
John Carter (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The Angelina County Sheriff's Office has arrested a former Lufkin charter school counselor already on probation for child pornography charges, this time on an allegation he sexually assaulted a then-10 year-old student in 2013.

John Wesley Carter, 45, is charged with first-degree aggravated sexual assault of a child.

According to an arrest affidavit, a teacher reported that a now 13-year-old student made an outcry to them.

The teacher reported asking the student what was bothering her and she said she had been sexually abused by Carter back when he worked at the school.

.The student then went to the counselor and explained how she went to an outing with Carter. During the outing, Carter touched the child inappropriately.

According to the affidavit, there was no trauma or scarring visible to the child during a Sexual Assault Nurse Examination.

Carter denied sexually assaulting the child, according to the affidavit.

Carter was booked in and out of the Angelina County Jail on Saturday.

Carter was arrested in November 2013 after an investigation into inappropriate conversations he was having with a girl under the age of 10 at Pineywoods Christian Academy. The girl's parents had planted a recorder on the child and recorded a conversation between Carter and the girl. They then turned that in to Lufkin police.

""That's the frustrating thing because Mr. Carter worked for several area districts, left in good standing and we did an exhausted background check," said Pineywoods Chrisitan  Academy Superintendent Dr. Bruce Marchand. "We talked to folks we knew in the community and got nothing but very rave reviews."

When police were investigating that allegation, Carter gave them permission to search his house. Police found evidence that Carter had tried to look up child pornography websites.

Carter pleaded guilty to the charge in February 2015, accepting a five-year probation sentence.

Although the student who reported the sexual assault did not attend Pineywoods Academy, the school empathizes after their own experience with Carter, and makes sure student safety is their number one priority.

"The thing we really want to make sure we do is that we always have the ability for parents to talk to us about concerns that they have," Dr. Marchand explained. "We also want children to know they can talk to us about concerns they have."

That is the reason why the school has extensive training with all of their staff on what to do, should an incident occur.

"One thing we talk about is teachers building relationships with their students," said Elementary Counselor Sonya Heard. "That's very important, and as you spend time with them, you learn their behaviors and their habits, so anytime something is a little different, they can make note of that."

The staff is also trained to make sure children are able trust them enough to come talk with them if something happens.

"We let them know it's not just their classroom teachers they can talk to," Heard said.  "If you're not comfortable with your classroom teacher, your're more than welcome to tell the nurses, tell the principal. We've had kids even talk to the cafeteria lady."

The staff also knows the steps to report a fellow employee. If an incident does occur, the school works with law enforcement and Harold's House, ensuring the safety of their students.

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