South Carolina

Charleston school employee caught with child porn stayed on the job for 2 years, report says

Marvin Gethers
Marvin Gethers Al Cannon Detention Center

A school employee in North Charleston, South Carolina was allegedly caught with child porn on his work computer and was not fired or suspended for almost two years, according to local television station WCSC.

In fact, he was promoted from student concern specialist to parent advocate after the school found the child porn, according to the Post and Courier.

Two children reported that the employee, Marvin Gethers, molested them after the school system knew about the discovery on his laptop, according to WCSC.

Now the school district is facing numerous questions over who knew what and when about the accusations and why nothing was done sooner, according to The Charleston Post and Courier. The newspaper reports that parents called for some school board members to resign at a meeting Monday and the district hired a law firm to do an independent investigation.

The Post and Courier noted: “Public outcry has grown in recent weeks following a bombshell report by TV station Live 5 WCSC detailing an investigation that dragged on for about two years.”

The case dates back to January 2014, WCSC reports, when the IT department for the school district did a virus scan on Gether’s work laptop and allegedly found that he accessed child porn. The television station said the school turned the computer over to police more than a month after the discovery.

It took 22 months for an analysis to come back on the computer from the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, the station reported. WCSC quoted a police officer’s statement from the case file: “The suspect at that time was put on Administrative leave until investigation. A month or so went by and I was informed the suspect was allowed to come back.”

Police arrested Gethers almost two years after the school district found child porn on his computer, according to the TV station, and he was fired from his job at Dunston Elementary School in North Charleston.

The Post and Courier reports that two children came forward after Gethers’ arrest and accused him of molesting them. The assaults allegedly happened in Gethers’ office in 2015, according to WCSC.

Gethers died in July 2017. He was never convicted of the charges, court records show.

When the Charleston County school board met Monday, the first time since the television’s investigation aired, the Post and Courier reported some parents called for board members to resign. But board members denied knowing about the investigation.

Cindy Bohn Coats, who chaired the board in 2014 and is still a member, told the Post and Courier, “At no point was the board told.”

Schools superintendent Dr. Gerrita Postlewait, who was hired in 2015, said Monday, “We can find no record of the matter going to the board either in executive session or public session,” according to WCSC.

The district has hired a law firm to conduct an independent investigation, The Post & Courier reported. The newspaper quoted the superintendent: “We will share all information that can be shared publicly. If there are specifics that by law we can’t release at this time, we will abide by the law, but it is our intent to make sure the public knows what went wrong, how it went wrong, and who — or the positions at least — that were in place.”

Charles Duncan: 843-626-0301, @duncanreporting

Related stories from Charlotte Observer