Crime & Courts

Former Civil Air Patrol volunteer in Charlotte imprisoned for molesting teen cadets

David Joseph Greenberg.
David Joseph Greenberg. Mecklenburg County jail

A former Civil Air Patrol cadet program volunteer in Charlotte was sentenced to at least 25 years in prison for molesting boys under his watch.

David Greenberg, 35, of Charlotte, entered a guilty plea in Mecklenburg County Superior Court on Friday to two counts each of statutory sex offense with a minor and indecent liberties with a child and 10 counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office said.

On Tuesday, Greenberg was found guilty in Cabarrus County Superior Court on two counts of felony indecent liberties with a child, court records show.

The cases are tied to Greenberg’s former volunteer role with the cadet program, multiple media outlets reported when he was arrested on the Cabarrus charges in July 2016. He was arrested on the Mecklenburg charges in November, jail records show.

The Civil Air Patrol is the civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and helps with searches and rescues, disaster relief and aerospace public education.

The mother of a 12-year-old boy told a Mecklenburg judge last week that Greenberg stole her son’s childhood by repeatedly sexually assaulting him over nine years and videotaping some of the attacks, WSOC-TV reported.

“How could I not have seen this monster lurking inside this (man), and worse, how could I let my son be accessible to this man?” the mother asked, according to the station. “There were videos and pictures that should never have been seen by anyone, disgusting, immoral, depraved images. But the worst hit was finding that Greenberg would make my son watch those videos with him.”

“I don’t expect forgiveness, because I know I will never forgive myself,” Greenberg said in court, WSOC-TV reported.

In Cabarrus County, Greenberg was convicted of sexually assaulting two 14-year-olds. Both belonged to the cadet program Greenberg helped lead, the (Concord) Independent Tribune reported, citing court documents.

Greenberg sexually assaulted one of the boys after returning to Cabarrus from the Carowinds theme park, Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Detective April Samples said in a search warrant affidavit, the newspaper reported.

At Carowinds, Greenberg asked the boy to change clothes in a stall with him, according to the affidavit. When the youth declined, Greenberg offered him $50 and eventually $500, before the teen darted into numerous other stalls to get away from him.

Greenberg also touched the teen about 10 times while waiting in line for rides, mostly around the teen’s chest and nipple, the Independent Tribune reported.

In the car later, Greenberg insisted on playing “the nervous game,” where one person touches the other person’s leg, slowly moving up the thigh until they get nervous and say “stop,” according to the affidavit. Greenberg kept touching the teen’s leg when the teen said he didn’t want to play.

They also stopped at a Walmart near Concord Mills mall for lotion for the teen’s sunburn, the affidavit said.

“Greenberg kept trying to put the (lotion) on him and had him take his shirt off to do so, even though (the victim) wanted to wait until he got home to do so,” the affidavit said. “While this was happening, (the victim) believes that Greenberg was taking pictures of him. Also on the way home, Greenberg continued to grab (the victim’s) hand, trying to put it in his groin region. Greenberg then tried to get (the victim) to sleep over that night.”

The second victim told investigators that Greenberg tickled him several times during his years in the cadet program. According to the affidavit, Greenberg asked him to send pictures of himself without a shirt or pants, the Independent Tribune reported.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak