For many years David Ellis Edwards, a church pastor and middle school principal in Fayetteville, perpetrated a variety of sex acts against young male students on school premises during school hours. To date, 3 brave victims have come forward to the police to press charges against Edwards, who has been indicted on 7 counts and awaits trial in criminal court. Lanier Law Group represents 2 of the 3 victims who have come forward to the authorities. Those 2 victims have filed civil lawsuits against the Cumberland County Board of Education and Edwards himself in the hopes that they will help more victims find the courage to come forward and find appropriate and needed help and treatment.
According to another non-client victim we have spoken with, Edwards’ pattern of abuse dates back at least 30 years. In 2007, at least 4 individual students of Edwards pressed charges and the school system was notified, but unfortunately Edwards maintained his job. Also around that time an employee who worked at the same school as Edwards grew so concerned about the suspicious habits Edwards displayed with little boys that he made an appointment with the school board to discuss his concerns. Unfortunately, Edwards maintained his job after that meeting as well. Then over the next 4 years Edwards continued to engage in sex acts with boys at his school. Some of those sex acts – and the systematic failure of the school board to prevent them despite significant prior notice of Edwards’ propensities - are the subject of the current civil filings against Edwards and the school board.