Andrew Braxton Allen, courtesy of Lee County Sheriff’s Office

A veteran SanLee Middle School teacher has been charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse against several of his students, Lee County sheriff’s deputies announced Thursday.

Andrew Braxton Allen, 32, of Siler City was indicted Monday by a Lee County Grand Jury on charges of statutory sex offense with a child by an adult, indecent liberties with a child, and sexual activity with a student.

According to a press release, the Sheriff’s Office received a report on Nov. 2 “regarding and inappropriate relationship between a teacher and a student” at the middle school.

“Through further investigation and the cooperation of the Lee County School System, it was revealed that Allen had numerous inappropriate relationships with several students throughout his tenure … at SanLee Middle School,” a press release stated. “Investigators have identified multiple minor children that have been victims of sexual abuse committed by Allen.”

Allen was formally charged by investigators on Thursday. A Lee County magistrate gave him a $250,000 secured bond, and he was transferred from the Lee County Jail to Central Prison in Raleigh.

Deputies said the investigation is ongoing and requested that “any parents that had students that were taught by Andrew Braxton Allen during his tenure at SanLee Middle School to speak with their child(ren) about any possible inappropriate conduct. If it is found or even suspected that your child may have been a victim please contact the Lee County Sheriff’s Office so that follow up can be done.”

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office can be reached at (919) 775-5531.

“Please understand how very important it is to speak with your child(ren) to ensure that no young person is left with an undiscovered, untreated, lasting, and traumatizing memory,” the press release indicated. “The second reason is to make sure that any possible victims have the opportunity to come forward and to have a voice that could lead to further prosecution.”

Lee County Schools issued a statement Thursday saying “while we cannot legally disclose all of the information available to the school district about this situation, the Board believes it is essential to communicate directly and clearly with the public.”

According to the statement, the district was made aware of the issue on Nov. 2, and suspended Allen with pay pending an investigation by the Sheriff’s Office. Allen has not been in any schools since that date, the statement said.

“On November 4, following that additional investigation, Mr. Allen was suspended without pay pending Board action. He resigned his position on November 6,” the statement reads. “The Board wants to emphasize that student safety is our highest priority. All employees are screened before being hired, a process that includes criminal background checks and reference checks. School administrators monitor teachers and respond to any concerns that are raised.”

Read the full statement here.

Allen appears to have been hired at SanLee in 2012, and a teacher page on the school’s website was still visible as of Nov. 9, although it was taken down sometime in the days following. The page indicated that Allen taught sixth grade math and social studies.