WCNC has reported that a Union County instructional coach at Sun Valley High School and Middle School has been arrested and accused of sexually exploiting minors. The accused, Jeffrey Schneider, 56, now faces 10 charges of sexual exploitation of a minor, according to the Union County Sheriff's Office. Schneider worked as a coach at both Sun Valley High School and Middle School located at 5211 Old Charlotte Hwy, Monroe, NC 28110.
The arrest of Schneider comes after authorities discovered disturbing images in his possession that were flagged as child pornography. The Union County Sheriff's Office took swift action upon this discovery, immediately placing Schneider on administrative leave pending further investigation.
Union County Sheriff Eddie Cathey stated, "Our detectives have seen a significant increase in online exploitation cases over the past several years. These offenders believe that they can commit their crimes on the internet and will never be held accountable for their actions. My office remains committed to identifying, locating, and apprehending online predators so that we can ensure the safety of our children and teenagers. I encourage all local parents to monitor their children’s internet activity and to report any suspicious communications their child may receive.”
Schneider was taken into custody on Tuesday, October 17, 2023, and subsequently booked into Union County jail. He now faces a substantial $50,000 bond as he awaits further legal proceedings.
As this investigation continues, authorities are reminding the community to stay vigilant and report any information that could aid in ensuring the safety of minors. The Union County Sheriff's Office is working diligently to address the ongoing issue of online exploitation and protect the most vulnerable members of society.
The accused middle school coach, Jeffrey Schneider, will face the full weight of the law as the legal process unfolds. The Union County community remains resolute in its commitment to safeguarding the well-being of its children and preventing such incidents from occurring in the future.
The recent arrest of the Union County School Coach has sparked urgent discussions about the legal options available to survivors of child exploitation. In this interview, we spoke with Kristen Beightol, Esq., an experienced child sexual abuse attorney and local North Carolina sex trafficking lawyer, to gain valuable insights into the legal options survivors can pursue, particularly through civil cases against those responsible. Ms. Beightol shares her expertise, shedding light on seeking justice, navigating the legal process, and providing support to survivors on their journey towards healing and holding perpetrators accountable.
Darla Medina (DM): Good evening. Thank you for being here, Ms. Beightol.
Kristen Beightol (KB): Thank you for having me, Darla. It's important to address this critical issue and provide information to survivors.
DM: Absolutely. Can you shed some light on what survivors can do with a civil case against those accountable?
KB: Certainly, Darla. Survivors of child exploitation have the right to pursue civil cases against those responsible for their abuse. These civil cases can provide survivors with a means of seeking justice, holding perpetrators accountable, and obtaining compensation for the harm they have endured.
DM: That's crucial. Could you explain the legal avenues available to survivors who wish to pursue civil cases?
KB: Of course. Survivors have the option to file a civil lawsuit against the individuals who perpetrated the abuse. This allows them to seek compensation for the physical, emotional, and psychological damages resulting from the exploitation. In some cases, survivors may also have grounds to bring claims against organizations or institutions that enabled or failed to prevent the abuse.
DM: That's an important distinction. Can you elaborate on how survivors can navigate the legal process and seek justice through these civil cases?
KB: It's essential for survivors to seek the assistance of experienced attorneys who specialize in child sexual abuse cases. These attorneys can guide survivors through the legal process, provide support, and ensure their rights are protected. They will gather evidence, interview witnesses, and build a strong case on behalf of the survivor.
DM: And what message would you like to convey to survivors who may be hesitant or unsure about pursuing a civil case?
KB: I want survivors to know that they are not alone and that there is support available to them. Pursuing a civil case can empower survivors and contribute to the prevention of future abuse. It's a courageous step towards healing and holding those responsible accountable for their actions. It's important for survivors to reach out to professionals who can provide guidance and support throughout the legal process.
DM: Thank you, Ms. Beightol, for sharing your valuable insights on this important topic. We appreciate your time and commitment to helping survivors seeking justice.
KB: Thank you, Darla. It was my pleasure to discuss this crucial issue with you today.