A Lincoln County School teacher is accused of attempting to solicit a minor for sex, according to Lincolnton Police.
Police said 41-year-old Ricky Kelvin Carpenter, Jr was arrested in an undercover investigation Wednesday, where a detective posed as a minor. Carpenter discussed meeting up to engage in sexual activity. He was talking to detectives - who he thought was the minor - on various social media accounts.
“When I found out he was a teacher it was really disturbing cause he’s around kids all the time,” said the undercover detective. “My first thought was, are there any more victims?”
School officials said Carpenter was a "career teacher" at the school district, but did not initially verify which school. The police report also lists Carpenter as a teacher with Lincoln County schools. Parents, and later police, revealed Carpenter was a teacher at Pumpkin Center Intermediate School.
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Carpenter lives in Lincolnton on Brady Hoffman Road. His stepdad confirmed Carpenter made bail Wednesday night and is a teacher.
The undercover detective said he did not target Carpenter. He said he did not know who he was exchanging messages via the computer and his phone until they met. Carpenter arrived at an apartment complex to meet the "minor" and was arrested. According to the report, he had a handgun on him when he was arrested.
The detective said Carpenter was sorry.
“He was very sorry,” he said. “I think he might be sorry he got caught.”
Carpenter was charged with soliciting a minor for an unlawful sex act by computer and appearing to meet the minor and placed in the Lincoln County Jail under a $50,000 secured bond. He is expected to appear in court Thursday. A family member said after he made bond he was consulting with a lawyer. Carpenter has no criminal history.
Lincoln County School officials said Carpenter is on administrative leave.
The detective said he doesn't know if there are any more victims, but his goal with these types of investigations is to protect at least one child from being molested or sexually assaulted. He wants all parents to be concerned about child predators.
“They need to know what their kids are doing on their phones, on the computer or iPads, X-Box's - anything that’s connected to the Internet,” the detective said.
He recommends parents talk to their kids and know their passwords. He said this information should scare parents and predators.
“Putting it on the media, it deters a lot of people that have these thoughts that go forward with it,” he said. “So, put it out there. I want the media to put it out there. I want it to scare them.”
Anyone with additional information is asked to call the Lincolnton Police Department at 704-736-8900.
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