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NC middle school coach faces sex charges

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WINSTON-SALEM, NC (AP) -- A middle school volleyball coach in Winston-Salem has been arrested on 29 sex charges involving two 14-year-old girls.

Twenty-three-year-old Mark Tobin Mercer of Winston-Salem was arrested Tuesday and charged with 13 counts of first-degree statutory rape, eight counts of felony sex offense with a student and eight counts of taking indecent liberties.

Mercer has been suspended without pay from Jefferson Middle School, where he also was a math teacher.

Investigators say Mercer is accused of having sex with the girls between Oct. 1 and Dec. 28, 2010.

Mercer's attorney, David Freedman, says his client turned himself in, consented to a search of his home and submitted a DNA sample. Freedman would not elaborate, beyond saying Mercer has cooperated.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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