Gaston County police say a school bus driver approached a resource officer this week and said two high school students were trying to extort money from her.
Now all three people are in trouble, police say -- the bus driver accused of having a sexual encounter with the teens, and the students charged with blackmail.
Police say the investigation began when Kwanda Carpenter, 33, who drives a route for Bessemer City High School, told the school resource officer that two students had sent her a private message on Facebook, demanding $60.
“She said the students were trying to extort the money in exchange for them not reporting the sex act,” said Gaston county police Sgt. Josh Hamlin.
The students, each 17, were charged with blackmail. The driver was charged with two counts of sexual act with a student. Hamlin said the alleged relationship took place in October. Investigators allege Carpenter picked up the students at their homes, and the alleged incident took place in her car.
“As a detective, I have investigated numerous sex offenses,” said Hamlin, a 17-year veteran. “Never have I heard of a victim trying to extort money from the suspect.”
Carpenter has been suspended with pay, pending results of an investigation by the Gaston County Public Schools.