A middle school teacher who also coached girls high school basketball in Henry County has been arrested and charged with sending a sexually explicit photograph and text messages to a juvenile.
Carlos Raphel Wade, 32, of 225 Falcon Road in Martinsville, is charged with two counts of solicitation of a child through the use of a communication system. Both charges are felonies, a release from the Henry County Sheriff’s Office said.
He has been a teacher at Fieldale-Collinsville Middle School and was an assistant coach at Bassett High School this past season.
He was arrested Thursday after the Sheriff’s Office was notified by the school, Maj. Eric Winn of the sheriff’s office said Friday. He declined to provide more details about how the investigation unfolded and did not specify which school had initiated the call to his office.
He did say the juvenile is a 16-year-old female and is not a student of Fieldale-Collinsville Middle School. Winn would not say if she is a student at Henry County Public Schools or even if she is a student.
Monica Hatchett, a spokesperson for HCPS, said Wade taught technology, including robotics, at Fieldale-Collinsville. He had been employed as a full-time teacher there since August 2017.
“He resigned this morning [Friday],” she said. “It was voluntary.”
Wade had been offered a contract for the upcoming school year, she said, so she assumes he had been in good standing with the school division.
Bassett girls basketball coach Binky Walmsley said he could not comment on Wade or his arrest and referred questions to Hatchett.
Tammy Clark of the Bassett High School Athletic Booster Club referred to Hatchett all questions about Wade’s tenure as an assistant coach and also said, “Everything would have to go through the school board office.”
Said Hatchett: “That is the only record I have found of him serving as a coach or sponsor.
“Additionally, the information I have states that he first applied to be a substitute [teacher] in 2007. ... It would be difficult to determine which schools he worked at as substitutes work for the division and are assigned to a different school each day as needed.”
The sheriff’s office said the messages Wade is charged with sending were not sent or received while either party was on school property.
“We do have a reporting process in place that encourages staff to report information that they are aware of,” Hatchett said. “Should an administrator be made aware of a concern, he/she would work with the proper authorities to share that information for investigation.
“In this case, our administrators have collaborated with HCSO investigators by sharing information as needed.
“Because of the sensitive nature of the investigation involving a student, at this time we’re going to be unable to provide any further information than what has already been shared.”
Before becoming a teacher, Wade worked five years in a Rotary die company in AutoCAD, the school’s website states. He is a graduate of Virginia State University with a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology. He and his wife have one child.
Thomas Auker, vice chair of the Henry County School Board, and school board member Joe DeVault indicated they were not aware of details about the investigation.
Auker said that Friday was the first he had learned about it.
Asked if they think the school division needs to do more thorough background checks of potential employees, both Auker and DeVault exressed confidence in what the school division currently is doing.
“I really feel HR [human resources] is doing a good job,” Auker said.
“I’m pretty confident in the background checks we have,” DeVault said.
Wade is being held without bond at the Henry County jail without bond.
Holly Kozelsky and Cara Cooper of the Bulletin staff contributed to this report. Paul Collins is a reporter for the Martinsville Bulletin. Contact him at 276-638-8801, ext. 236.