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Head Start worker faces child sex charge

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A worker at a Wilmington Head Start facility is in jail charged with raping a child.

Wilmington Police tell WWAY 50-year-old Johnie Lewis, Jr. has worked for Head Start for 27 years. He is now charged with felony sex offense with a child and indecent liberties with a child.

Police say a mother filed a report based on what her four-year-old told her happened in a restroom at Head Start some time between mid-November and mid-December. The alleged victim is the only student to come forward with such a claim.

Investigators say Lewis denies the allegations. He is in the New Hanover County Jail under $750,000 bond.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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ROT IN PRISON

It is a proven fact that almost always when somone says they have been abused, they are telling the truth. All of these comments completely shocked me. How people could not at least consider that these allogations are true is crazy. He will get his in prison I'm sure of that.

ok you are so very wrong.

ok you are so very wrong. there is absolutely no such proven fact!!! in fact it probably actually leans more toward the other direction but i will give you the benefit of the doubt to say that it is probably closer to 50/50. Actually i have talked with different therapists that all agree that kids do know how to lie and will be led to different conclusions by different people for different reasons. bottom line, i think your comment is ridiculous and you should check your facts before posting on something like this and trying to make someone who could be totally innocent, look bad. i just moved to the area and was searching where the head start programs are here for my daughter and i will be honest, this will not be where i send my daughter but i also will not condemn a man until he is proven guilty.

Free Johnnie

Johnnie Lewis is my friend and colleague. I know him to be a kind man and excellent teacher. Anyone familiar with the center and the routines would know that this inncident could not have taken place as it has been reported. Children can be coerced by abusers and led by investigators and parents. Children can lie for various reasons. If you don't believe that one study up on some child development. I am so glad to read all of these comments in support of him. I wish that the agency would have done something sooner to show thier support and possibly cast more doubt in the minds of the investigators. 27 years of excellence and loyalty is worth that.

Has anyone checked into the

Has anyone checked into the background of the family that is accusing this man? Is this a family who has been abusive against their children, and did the school have to report these actions. Is this a family that pull their child out of another daycare because he also told untrue things on the staff there. If this man has done anything then he should be punish. But if he is found not guilt he has already been convicted in the media and that wicked thing we call the tongue.

Why would he throw away a 27 year career?

Although it is understandable the legal system has to investigate the possibilities, this comes as a shock to those who have had children in Mr.Lewis's class or know him on a personal level. He has always been on who stayed focused on providing the best educational start for all children in his class. In the years I have known him he has never showed anything but a desire to teach. Stay strong Mr. Lewis the truth will be told.

Maybe this isnt his first

Maybe this isnt his first victim. I think that if he is guilty others need to come forth. But this is the only mother that did what was right and came forward and not just remove the child and say nothing.

Sad story- He's innocent till proven guilty!

27 years in service with kids. Excellent reputation. Thousands of children served over 27 years. Great reputation in the community. Head Start says he is an exceptional employee.

This is a sad story. It is a fact that children who have been molested know and trust their molester. However, something about this story sound fishy. How does a small 4 year old communicate about this sort of thing. Could the child have been molested by someone else close to the child? When the child was questioned could he have made up the story to protect the one who is really molesting the child? The molesters do threaten to hurt the child or family of child if the child tells.

In our country you are innocent until you are proven guilty. I hope to god Mr Lewis is innocent of these charges. But I have to say we must give him his due processes to hear the facts of the case. The police say they have enough evidence to prove the case. Mr. Lewis will have his day in court and if he is found innocent then he will be vindicated. Head Start Will have to give him back his job and everyone owes him an apology - including the parent who charged him.

Let's let our legal system do their job. Let's be open minded that young children do get molested by people they trust. Parents must report abuse to children to the police. If the child admitted this - and four year old children are at the age where they can communicate their feelings, then we must take the child serious.

I DON'T BELIEVE THESE

I DON'T BELIEVE THESE ACCUSATIONS AGAINST MR. LEWIS AT ALL. MY DAUGHTER WAS IN HIS CLASS LAST YEAR. HE IS A GREAT TEACHER THAT WENT OVER N BEYOND FOR HIS STUDENTS. THIS IS SO UNFORTUNATE.MY PRAYERS GO OUT TO HIM AND HIS FAMILY. MY PRAYERS ALSO GO OUT TO THE LITTLE BOY N HIS FAMILY CAUSE SOMEONE HAS THAT STORY ALL WRONG N I CAN'T WAIT FOR THEM TO PROVE IT. THAT'S WHEN CHARGES NEED TO BE PRESSED ON THEM FOR RUINING HIS CAREER AND GOOD NAME. I CAME FROM NEW JERSEY AND EVERYONE I ASKED ABOUT MR LEWIS SAID HE WAS AN EXCELLENT TEACHER AND HE WAS. MY DAUGHTER DIDN'T WANT TO MISS A DAY OF SCHOOL AND THAT SAYS A LOT. 750,000 DOLLARS...THAT'S CRAZY!!

I don't believe this

This is a nice man. I know him. This kid probably made a mess in his pants, and Mr. Lewis is probably only guilty of cleaning him up. What a shame! When I read this in the paper, all I could do is shake my head. He should have left the mess for the parents. I Cannot And Do Not Believe This Story.

Amazing how much trouble a

Amazing how much trouble a small child can get someone in to. If he has not molested anyone in 27 years, this is very questionable. I would not work with or around children this day and time for any amount of pay. If a kid gets mad at you for some reason and lies, you are in more trouble that you'll ever get out of. And, they always take the kid's word, hence the huge unreasonable bond.

To me, his bigger crime....

....is working for twenty-seven years in a program that has no proven benefit to children, but costs taxpayers billions.

When NPR runs a report stating that a study of Head Start reveals that it serves no purpose other than employment of inner-city adults who otherwise couldn't find work, you can bet it's a typical, left-wing scam. NPR isn't exactly known for their conservative views, but they said it: No academic difference between those first graders who attended head start and those who didn't. It's more of a job program than an academic program.

But meanwhile....

....regarding Mister Lewis, regardless of his being a highly-paid, taxpayer-funded babysitter for twenty-seven years, we should all remember the McMartin Preschool case. He may be totally innocent.

All HS lead teacher have a 2

All HS lead teacher have a 2 or 4 year degree, and TA's are working on theirs or already have them. All teachers are not from the inner-city as you stated, but HS has hired teachers(white) from out of state as well as retired public school(white) teachers. So what are you saying, these teachers (white with degrees would not be able to find employment else where either?) My daughter(African-American) went to Headstart when she was three, left reading on a first-grade level, has two college degrees and own her own business, so there are successful stories.

Oh by the way Mr. Lewis has a degree also.

Don't belive everything u hear

PLEASE STOP DRAGGING THIS MAN NAME THREW THE MUDD.AFTER 27 YEARS OF TEACHING AND THE MOTHER OF THE CHILD GOES STRAIGHT TO THE POLICE AND NOT INFORM THE SCHOOL SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT.WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER KIDS IN THE SCHOOL WHO INFORMS THE PARENT.THE MOTHER SHOULD HAVE TOLD THE SCHOOL.I'VE NEVER HAD A PROBLEM WITH MR.LEWIS OR HIS TEACHING SKILLS

Don't belive everything u hear

Mr.lewis is a very nice man i've been in that school everyday since my niece been there and i've never seen him act out in anyway with the kids i mean know yelling at them he pull them to the side and talk with them never seen him in the restroom alone with them.as a parent i will say that kids do lean more on lies than the truth because after so many question they say what u want them to say so everyone please stop with the nasty comments the rumors cause it's in the courts hands now.

Presumed Guilt?

A four-year-old tells a mother what happened in a restroom at Head Start some time before Christmas, and Mr. Lewis is in jail under a $750,000 bond? I find this shocking.

I do not believe that Mr. Lewis, a respectable man with 27 years experience with Head Start, is guilty of this heinous charge.

There is a trend among investigators and psychologists to always believe the child, but studies have shown that children are often led by parents and "professionals" to tell untruths. Is it not possible that this could be the case here?

Also, we know that children sometimes make up stories. I would have to know far more about this case to conclude that Mr. Lewis is guilty of felony sex offence.

But there is one thing for sure: His reputation is ruined!

Mr. Lewis has taught my

Mr. Lewis has taught my children for years,and I refuse to belive these accusations. Hopefully people will not rush to judgement and the truth will preveil.

Mr. Lewis is a good teacher

Mr. Lewis has been a great teacher and mentor for our children throughout the years. My son attended the Head Start years ago. I was pleased with this program, because without the Headstart program and their staff, I might not have been able to pursue my education. Mr. Lewis our prayers are with you.

OMG I can not believe this

OMG I can not believe this and will never believe this story. He taught my children almost 20 years ago and this is a man that love children and would never dream of doing anything like this. It is a sad day it has to be for all the people that know him.

I do not understand how a

I do not understand how a man's life is ruined all from the words of a 4 yr old's mouth. I am not calling the child a liar, but let's be reasonable here. This man has worked at Head Start for 27 years and this is the first time something like this has happened? I think that is suspicious. I know for a fact that children that young(4 yrs old) do not understand half the things they hear or even say!! Before a man is arrested on charges of raping a 4 yr old, there needs to be serious investigations done. There needs to be hard-core proof; not just words out of a 4 yr olds mouth.

this story is so sick to me.

this story is so sick to me. i hope when this guy goes to prison that all of the fathers locked up who are missing and loving their childreen take care of this sicko

How do u know this is true.

How do u know this is true. What if you or some one in your family has been but in this position. Would you want your day in court, for you or a family member before others jump the gun. You better not wish bad things on people because it could be turned back on you or someone you love.

i know Johnnie and i cannot

i know Johnnie and i cannot believe it.... i just talked to him in December.....but you cannot put nothing past anyone.........

When you did talk to Johnnie...

were you expecting him to say what anything about what he's accused of?

Sadly, in cases such as these, the child's story is taken as being factual...which it may very well be. Unfortunately, this man's reputation has been trashed. If he's innocent, folks will still remember him being charged. If he is, in fact, guilty, then the full brunt of the law should be brought against him.

I certainly hope LE has

I certainly hope LE has their information correct as this mans name has been slung out there. There is no telling what goes on now but a bit of discretion may be necessary, until all the fact are in.Difficult call as the children must be protected too.

The ONLY student to come

The ONLY student to come forward in this man's 27 year employment history. Discretion is right, its what's needed. This is a case that begs us all to remember the presumption of innocence.

if this isn't true his life

if this isn't true his life is messed up b ecause everyone will still accuse him. I know mr. lewis my kids and my neices and nephews all went to peabody and nothing like that every happen this needs to be investagated thourghly. but either way his name is over even without proof everyone tends to believe what they read