Sheriff: 2 Rutherford County teachers, teen son charged in child exploitation case
RUTHERFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WLOS) - Two Rutherford County teachers and their 16-year-old son face charges as a result of a criminal investigation conducted by the sheriff's office.
RS Central High School teachers William "Travis" Toms, 44, and Rebecca Toms, 33, have been suspended from their jobs without pay after both were arrested on charges related to a sexting investigation.
The teachers are each charged with one count of obstructing justice, which warrants say stems from each lying to Rutherford County Sheriff's Office investigators, who have been working the case for over a month. Travis and his minor son face two additional felony counts each for second-degree sex exploitation of a minor.
Warrants indicate Travis and his son disseminated explicit photos of two different teenage girls, ages 16 and 17.
One warrant said some of the photos were shown to another student last September. That student was not charged in the case.
Sheriff Chris Frances confirmed investigators have taken in evidence for the case, which he said are photos of the minor girls.
Last month, News 13 reported the husband and wife had been suspended without pay and that the sheriff's department was conducting an investigation.
“I would like to know what’s going on,” said Tammy Hill, who was picking up her nephew from RS Central High School on Monday. “I would like to know the specifics because the school isn’t releasing any information. I would like to know why it is so secret.”
“If the parents are involved, saw this, and didn’t report it to the proper authorities, then I fully believe there should be charges filed against these parents,” said Matt Arrowood, who was picking up his step-son from the school.
“I know the son, the teacher’s son. I’m good friends with him,” Matthew Orasin, Arrowood’s step-son, said. “I don’t bother to ask him (about it), but he wasn’t in school today.”
School administrators would not release any additional details on the case, nor would they confirm the status of the Toms’ son at the school.