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More sexual abuse charges filed against SMS teacher; school board votes to fire him

A now-former Southern Middle School who was arrested April 26 on two counts each of felony indecent liberties with a student and two counts each of felony indecent liberties with a child is now facing additional charges alleged by two additional victims.

Ivan Danilo Ardila-Perez

Meanwhile, Alamance-Burlington school board members fired Ivan Danilo Ardila-Perez during their latest work session Tuesday afternoon.   He was initially suspended with pay on April 26 and later suspended without pay.  ABSS superintendent Dr. Dain Butler had said last week that he would recommend that the school terminate Ardila-Perez.

Ardila-Perez, white male, 37, of 3627 Maple Avenue in Burlington, was arrested late last month after two female students at Southern Middle School – where he had been a Spanish teacher and soccer coach – alleged he had inappropriate sexual contact with them.

Perez was scheduled to make his first appearance on the two new sets of charges in Alamance County district court on Tuesday afternoon.  He is currently scheduled to appear in Alamance County district court for the new charges on May 30, according to documents on file in the Alamance County court system.

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Alamance County sheriff Terry Johnson said at a joint press conference with ABSS superintendent Butler last week that he expected more victims may come forward now that the teacher has been arrested.  An investigation by the sheriff’s Special Victims’ Unit (SVU) revealed there was probable cause to believe that Ardila-Perez may have had inappropriate sexual contact with seven female students between the ages of 11 and 13 on school property and during school hours, the sheriff explained during the joint press conference last Monday.

Ardila-Perez was initially booked in the Alamance County jail two weeks ago on two separate secured bonds of $50,000.  He is now being held under two additional secured bonds of $100,000 each, or a total secured bond of $300,000, according to the Alamance County detention center.

The latest charges appear to stem from two additional victims who have come forward since the joint press conference last week.

School board members voted 5-0 to terminate Ardila-Perez, who had been employed at Southern Middle School since September 2022.  (One seat on the board is vacant; school board member Chuck Marsh was absent due to illness.)


Principal still on administrative leave

There has been no change in the employment status for Southern Middle School principal Matt Ritter, who has been placed on administrative leave with pay, school board chairman Sandy Ellington-Graves confirmed for The Alamance News following the board’s closed session Tuesday afternoon.

Butler declined at last week’s press conference to specify whether the decision to place Ritter on administrative leave is connected to the criminal charges against Ardila-Perez, citing the issue as a personnel matter.

In response to subsequent questions from Alamance News publisher Tom Boney, Jr. about when the Southern Middle School administration was made aware of the allegations, Butler said at the press conference, “We are following up with our own internal investigation.”

See earlier coverage:

Press conference with sheriff and ABSS superintendent:

What charges could be brought if ABSS knew of abuse allegations, but didn’t report them to law enforcement:

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