According to My Fox 8, a former Page High School employee is facing multiple child sex crime charges after a student's parents reportedly discovered him attempting to ask their daughter to meet him outside her home at 1:13 a.m. Page High School is located at 201 Alma Pinnix Dr, Greensboro, NC 27405.
According to court records, Mark Johnson Jr., 34, was booked in the Greensboro Detention Center on Friday and is being held on a $1 million bond. Johnson had been employed as a teacher and assistant women’s basketball coach at Page since Aug. 16, 2022, and resigned from his position on Wednesday.
The parents of the girl allegedly involved in the incident noticed the text messages Johnson had sent their daughter requesting they meet outside their home. After they saw the messages they contacted the Greensboro Police Department, which began investigating, and Johnson was placed on leave from his job at Page. During this investigation, they found illicit videos and photos of another student. The second student also claimed to have had sexual relations with Johnson. She was able to describe the location and inside of the vehicle. The judge said that Johnson sent text messages to both victims telling them to delete everything.
Guilford County School officials stated that the district “conducts criminal background and reference checks for all newly hired employees." Additionally, the district requires that any suspicion of sexual misconduct is reported to law enforcement. Following a background check, Mark Johnson, Jr. had no charge or conviction related to sexual misconduct before February 24, 2023. However, an allegation against him from High Point in 2019 was mentioned during his court appearance.
Johnson is facing charges, including two counts of first-degree statutory rape and two counts of indecent liberties with children. If convicted, he could face life in prison without parole. Additional charges against Johnson could be forthcoming.
Attorney contributor Kristen Beightol advocates for school sex abuse victims across the state of North Carolina. She helps victims and their families get the justice and financial compensation they deserve through her experience as a school sex crimes attorney. During a recent discussion, she sought to answer the pressing question from parents, "can I sue if my child was sexually abused by a HS coach?"
Schools are responsible for providing a safe learning environment for students, including protecting them from sexual abuse by teachers and coaches. Unfortunately, there have been too many instances of misconduct and abuse, which can have devastating consequences.
School administrators must take reasonable steps to reduce the risk of teacher-student sexual abuse, such as requiring background checks for all employees and volunteers and implementing policies and procedures to protect students. Schools should also provide education and training to staff and students on recognizing and reporting inappropriate behavior.
Victims of sexual abuse by a coach or teacher have the right to file a lawsuit against the school for negligence. If it can be proven that the school failed to take reasonable steps to protect students, they may be held liable for damages.