July 9, 2014

Lake Norman High counselor accused of sex with student

Amy Hogan Saffos, 42, of Statesville, was arrested Wednesday morning at her home and jailed under $175,000 bond, authorities said.

A guidance counselor at Lake Norman High School has been accused of having sex with a student, according to the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office.

Amy Hogan Saffos, 42, of Statesville, was arrested Wednesday morning at her home and jailed under $175,000 bond, authorities said. Detectives said Saffos, who had been at Lake Norman High for eight years, was charged with three counts of felony sexual activity with a student by school personnel other than a teacher, school administrator, student teacher, coach or school safety officer.

Sheriff’s Maj. Darren Campbell said the victim was a 17-year-old male student. Investigators allege two of the incidents took place at the school.

“The victim is above the legal age (for sexual activity) in North Carolina, but because these alleged incidents involved school personnel, they are considered criminal offenses,” Campbell said.

Detectives said their investigation turned up possible “incidents” in an adjoining county and said they have turned over evidence to law enforcement officers in that jurisdiction.

Campbell said “school system officials were in front on this,” contacting the sheriff’s office in late June. Detectives interviewed the victim, and they reported finding “items of evidence” in an adjoining county.

“Lt. (Bill) Hamby was also able to locate witnesses who provided corroborating statements to verify the victim’s testimony,” Campbell said.

Saffos’ attorney, Adam Seifer of the Charlotte firm of SeiferFlatow, said he was stunned at what he described as “a ridiculously high bond.”

“People will look at that bond and think the worst,” Seifer said. “She is not a flight risk, and she’s not a danger to anyone.”

As for the charges, Seifer said, “We’re still in a fact-gathering process.”

A spokeswoman for the Iredell-Statesville Schools said Saffos was terminated June 27, the day after the report was filed with the sheriff’s office. The spokeswoman said Saffos had worked with the school system since August 2006, working all of that time at Lake Norman High.

A Web page at Lake Norman High lists Saffos as a counselor of students with last names of A through G in grades 10 through 12. According to the Web page, Saffos earned her bachelor’s degree from Meredith College in Raleigh and her master’s in school counseling from Campbell University in Buies Creek.

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