NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A judge set bond at $50,000 Friday for the Charleston County School of the Arts theater manager accused of having sex with a 16-year-old student over a dozen times since last December.
North Charleston Police Department officers arrested 30-year-old Carl Barnwell Jr. on Thursday and charged him with sexual battery of a student. He was taken to the Charleston County Detention Center.
According to court documents, the 16-year-old student told investigators she had been having sex with Barnwell "about once a week" since last December. She also said two of the encounters happened in an "upstairs area of the theater."
Investigators said Barnwell confessed some of the sex took place on school grounds.
During bond court, the teen's mother said Barnwell "stole [her] child's innocence."
Police said the principal of the school reported the alleged relationship to police on Wednesday after a parent told her that she had evidence of a teacher having an inappropriate relationship with a student.
Authorities then contacted the witness who told investigators that she had letters of her daughter and the victim talking about an affair between a student and teacher.
The witness told investigators her daughter was involved in a separate incident which caused her ex-husband to search her daughter's bedroom. A police report states during the search of the bedroom, the student's father found letters between his daughter and the victim regarding the alleged relationship.
Investigators say the victim identified Barnwell as her mentor and her "tech teacher," and confirmed statements regarding a relationship that were found in the letters that were found.
Charleston County School District spokesman Jason Sakran said Barnwell has since been placed on leave.
Sakran said "providing a safe and secure learning environment for all our students continues to be our top priority.