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Sheriff: Sex offense suspect took at least 1 victim outside U.S.

Charles Drake, 29, accused of sex crimes against underage boys

Sheriff: Sex offense suspect took at least 1 victim outside U.S.

CRAVEN COUNTY - A Craven County taekwondo instructor, accused of sex crimes against underage boys, committed a sex act outside the U.S. with at least one of the victims, investigators said.

Craven County Sheriff Jerry Monette told NewsChannel 12 Wednesday that 29-year-old Charles Phillip Drake, of River Bend, engaged in sex acts with two boys who were 14 years old when the crimes began. One of the relationships went on for years, Monette said.

"[Drake] developed social acquaintances with the family members. Then once they began feeling comfortable with him, as far as allowing their children to be with him without supervision, [that was when the incidents occurred]," Monette said.

According to Monette, Drake met both victims through taekwondo.  He took at least one victim outside the U.S., where they performed a sex act, Monette said. The FBI may become involved in this case, although they have not as of yet, said Monette.

"[The victims'] families are very traumatized, the children are traumatized," Monette told NewsChannel 12.

There could have been up to eight victims, although deputies have only confirmed two so far, Monette added.

A grand jury has indicted Drake on two counts of statutory rape / sex offense with a person younger than 16, according to indictment documents. He remains in the Craven County Jail after his arrest on Feb. 16.

Drake was an instructor with Asian Taekwondo, which contracts out the Twin Rivers YMCA's aerobics room. But Drake was not a YMCA employee.

The alleged sex crimes did not take place at the YMCA, deputies had said. It's unclear whether Drake met his victims through his taekwondo work at the YMCA or through his private taekwondo coaching sessions, according to an investigator.

Drake was also an assistant boys varsity basketball coach at The Epiphany School in New Bern until the season ended early this year, according to Headmaster David Wang. Drake is no longer employed at The Epiphany School and none of its students were victims, Wang told NewsChannel 12. There is no evidence that Drake met any victims through that coaching job either, an investigator said.

Deputies said the investigation began when they received a complaint of underage kids drinking at a Craven County home. But investigators said they later learned from some of the children that there were "more to it than drinking."

Three teens told NewsChannel 12 that Drake did give them alcohol at parties he had hosted. But those teens said Drake did not commit sex crimes.

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A taekwondo instructor accused of engaging in a sex act with a teen boy has been indicted on a second charge involving another underage victim, records show.

Charles Phillip Drake, 29, of River Bend, was indicted by a grand jury Monday on a second count of statutory rape / sex offense with a person younger than 16, according to indictment documents. He was served with the indictment on Tuesday and remains in the Craven County Jail.

The indictment states the sex crime associated with the new charge occurred between December 2010 and November 2013.  The alleged victim was between 13 and 15 years old, the documents show.

No other details on the latest charge have been released.

Drake was previously charged in February with sex offense against a child because he allegedly engaged in a sexual act with a 14-year-old boy some time between May 1, 2012 and Nov. 30, 2013, according to warrants from the Craven County Sheriff's Office.

Drake was scheduled to be in court Wednesday for a bond hearing. But it has been canceled due to the indictments. Drake's lawyer, Marcus Chesnutt, can request a new hearing.

When asked on Tuesday about the indictments and new charge, Chesnutt said he had not had a chance to review the latest allegations.

Drake was an instructor with Asian Taekwondo, which contracts out the Twin Rivers YMCA's aerobics room, said YMCA CEO Todd Shuart.

Drake was also an assistant boys varsity basketball coach at The Epiphany School in New Bern until the season ended early this year, according to Headmaster David Wang. Drake is no longer employed at The Epiphany School and none of its students were victims, Wang told NewsChannel 12.

Deputies said they arrested Drake on Feb. 16 at the New Bern YMCA, where he was playing basketball. Drake had recently returned from Canada and investigators said they wanted to arrest him before he went to a taekwando championship in Las Vegas.

The alleged sex crimes did not take place at the YMCA or The Epiphany School campus, officials said. But multiple boys were involved and more charges are expected as the investigation continues, the Sheriff's Office stated.

Deputies said they initially received a complaint of underage kids drinking at a Craven County home. But investigators said they later learned from some of the children that there were "more to it than drinking."

Three teens told NewsChannel 12 that Drake did give them alcohol at parties he had hosted. But those teens said Drake did not commit sex crimes.

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Three teenagers tell NewsChannel 12 that sex-crime suspect Charles Phillip Drake gave them alcohol at parties he hosted at a Creekview Road home.

Those same teens believe Drake is innocent of the sex act he is accused of committing against a 14-year-old boy.

"I probably met him when I was about 14, playing basketball at the [New Bern YMCA]," said a 19-year-old male who says Drake usually hosted gatherings once a month.  The teen asked not to be identified.

"Sometimes we'd just watch movies [at the parties], sometimes we'd play beer pong," the teen said. 

But the teen believes Drake is innocent.

"I don't think he would do it," he said.

NewsChannel 12 spoke with two other teenagers who echoed those sentiments.

A judge on Wednesday reduced the bond for Drake,a onetime taekwondo instructor and former assistant boys basketball coach at the Epiphany School in New Bern.

The lawyer for the 29-year-old Drake appeared in court in New Bern on Drake's behalf. The judge lowered Drake's bond from $500,000 to $300,000. His next court appearance is scheduled for March 12.

Drake, of River Bend, is charged with sex offense against a child, according to the Craven County Sheriff's Office. Warrants show that he allegedly engaged in a sexual act with a 14-year-old boy some time between May 1, 2012 and Nov. 30, 2013.

Multiple boys were involved and more charges are expected as the investigation continues, the Sheriff's Office stated.

Deputies arrested Drake Sunday at the New Bern YMCA, where he was playing basketball, deputies said.  Drake had recently returned from Canada and they wanted to arrest him before he went to a taekwando championship in Las Vegas, deputies said.

Drake was an assistant boys varsity basketball coach at The Epiphany School in New Bern until the season ended two weeks ago, said Headmaster David Wang. None of the students at the school were victims and the incidents did not take place on campus, Wang said.

Drake was also an instructor with Asian Taekwondo, which contracts out the Twin Rivers YMCA's aerobics room, said YMCA CEO Todd Shuart. The Sheriff's Office said the alleged sex crime occurred at the Creekview Road home.

Deputies said they initially received a complaint of underage kids drinking at the home. But investigators said they later learned from some of the victims that there were "more to it than drinking."

Drake is no longer employed by The Epiphany School and he will not be rehired, the school told NewsChannel 12.

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A taekwondo instructor and former assistant boys basketball coach at The Epiphany School is accused of engaging in a sex act with a 14-year-old boy, and investigators said more children were involved.

According to the Craven County Sheriff's Office, 29-year-old Charles Phillip Drake, of River Bend, was arrested on Sunday and has been charged with sex offense against a child. Warrants show that he allegedly engaged in a sexual act with a 14-year-old boy some time between May 1, 2012 and Nov. 30, 2013.

Multiple boys were involved and more charges are expected as the investigation continues, the Sheriff's Office stated.

None of the students at the The Epiphany School of Global Studies in New Bern were victims, said Headmaster David Wang. Drake was an assistant boys varsity basketball coach at The Epiphany School until the season ended two weeks ago, Wang said.

In a statement, The Epiphany School said  the alleged incidents did not occur on campus. At no time was the suspect ever alone with any Epiphany students, and a background check on Drake produced a clean record at the time, according to the school.

(CLICK HERE to read the full statement from The Epiphany School.)

Drake is also an instructor with Asian Taekwondo, which contracts out the Twin Rivers YMCA's aerobics room, said YMCA CEO Todd Shuart. Drake is a member of the YMCA, but he has never been an employee there, Shuart said.

The Sheriff's Office said the alleged sex crimes did not take place at the YMCA either.

Deputies said they initially received a complaint of underage kids drinking at a home. But investigators said they later learned from some of the victims that there were "more to it than drinking."

Drake is no longer employed by The Epiphany School and he will not be rehired, the school told NewsChannel 12. The school did not plan to rehire Drake to coach even before he was charged, according to Wang.

A neighbor of the suspect talked with NewsChannel 12 about the allegations.

"We've had some recent concerns crop up and yes, this does kind of put fuel to the fire right now," said neighbor Lee Gottleib. "Families here with children-- That would be a tragic situation, to think that possibly any of them might have been involved."

Drake made his first court appearance on Monday is being held under a $500,000 bond, said deputies.


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