A technology associate at Hornets Nest Elementary School in Charlotte was recently arrested on accusations of felony sex offenses involving a minor. Twenty-five-year-old Tafari Higgins is facing charges of child rape and taking indecent liberties with a child.
The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police report that the alleged sexual activity did not involve a Hornets Nest student nor did the act(s) take place on school property. The school district noted that there was no indication of a prior criminal history in Higgins' pre-employment background check. He is on administrative leave while the investigation continues. He has worked for the Charlotte school system since last August.
The arrest on felony sex offenses came after a report was made in March involving sex acts between Higgins and a minor. No details on the age of the minor have been released; however, the charge of rape of a child in North Carolina is applicable only if the alleged victim is under 13 years old.
A conviction for the rape of a child triggers mandatory minimum sentencing in North Carolina. Rape of a child is a serious felony sex offense and will be punished by at least 300 months (25 years) in prison. North Carolina law allows a sentence of up to life in prison without parole for this sex crime. If a sentence for only a term of years, rather than life, is required, the individual will be monitored via satellite GPS for the remainder of his or her life as well as have to register as a convicted sex offender.
Conflicting reports of bond in this case have said it was set at $75,000 and $750,000.
Source: Charlotte Observer, "Charlotte elementary staffer charged with child rape," June 4, 2013