CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - State police files show the Charleston County School district was questioning how a Supervisor handled the Marvin Gethers case well before a Live 5 News investigation exposed what happened.
Gethers was a Parent Advocate at Dunston Elementary in North Charleston.
In 2016, he was charged with child porn and sexual misconduct with two students at the school.
Our series of reports revealed CCSD had allowed him to keep working with children for two years while police investigated, despite the district discovering the pornography in 2014.
Documents show Gethers’ name came up repeatedly during an unrelated financial investigation of his Supervisor at the time, Dr. James Winbush. Winbush was the associate superintendent at CCSD who loaned Gethers about $600.
When Winbush was being interviewed in the financial investigation in early 2017, school attorneys grilled him on how he handled the Gethers case.
Dr. James Winbush sued the Charleston County School district, saying they defamed him for implying he mismanaged money for school events.
CCSD eventually settled with him for $150,000.
In the meantime he was formally interviewed in a deposition we obtained from SLED.
SLED has since dropped the case against Winbush after determining the money in question was collected through private donations and was not public funds.
“The attorneys hired by the school district cross-examined him in the deposition. And in an attempt to attack his credibility, pursued a line of questions regarding his personal relationship with Marvin Gethers,” Mark Peper, the attorney representing four of Gethers’ alleged victims who have come forward, said.
In the deposition, Winbush admitted Gethers came to his office, “destitute and crying” needing help .so he loaned him money.
“We’re now learning and confirming what we’ve always alleged,” Peper said. “That the Associate Superintendent made the decision to reinstate Marvin Gethers less than a week after child porn was found on his school-issued computer. But for that decision, multiple victims would not have been sexually assaulted over the course of two years.”
Peper’s lawsuit, filed earlier this year, claims Winbush had a reason to keep Gethers working.
“I don’t care whether it’s a dollar, a thousand dollars, or a million dollars. Dr. Winbush wanted to get paid back. So he reinstated Marvin Gethers… To me that’s just inexcusable,” Peper said.
We’ve tried to get in touch with Dr. Winbush several times and he’s not been interested in sharing his side of the story.
However, in the deposition he told attorneys that he and the principal of Dunston, Janice Malone, knew about the porn on Gethers’ computer but did not realize it was child porn. So they allowed Gethers to keep working.
Marvin Gethers was arrested and charged in 2016 but died in 2017 before the cases were prosecuted.
At this point, seven children have come forward alleging they were sexually molested by Marvin Gethers.
The first victim settled in 2018 for $150,000 which was set up in an annuity for the young boy.
The second victim was offered a $300,000 settlement, but his attorney said it was withdrawn earlier this year after our stories aired and other victims started coming forward.
And a seventh victim has filed a police report.
All were young boys who attended Dunston Elementary in North Charleston.