Prosecutor: Former teacher had sex with grandson
DURHAM (WTVD) -- Prosecutors have asked a Durham judge to delay the trial of a former teacher's assistant who's accused of having sex with her grandson. They said they're having problems locating witnesses and the alleged victim.
Toni Stowers-Moore, 53, is charged with statutory rape/sex offense in which the defendant is six years older than the victim, incest with a child, and sexual battery. Detectives said the boy was 15 when it happened.
Prosecutors say they have phone recordings between Stowers-Moore and her relatives that captured her confession. She allegedly claimed sex with the teen was the only way to remove a sexual demon from him - and to protect others he might try to hurt.
But now, her story has changed.
"Now she says it was rape. But prior to this point, it has been a consensual sexual act that she did as some kind of religious sacrifice to save her other innocent people," explained Durham District Attorney Tracey Cline.
Cline said prior to her arrest, Stowers-Moore was employed as a teacher's assistant with Durham Public Schools.
"It's bigger than just this child. This is a lady that works in the school system as a teacher," said Cline.
Stowers-Moore rejected a plea deal requiring her to register as a sex offender. Tuesday, she came to court hoping for a jury trial.
But prosecutors say several key witnesses are missing - including Stowers-Moore's daughter, son, and the alleged victim.
"The grandson has a warrant out for his arrest. They currently don't know where the child is because they've been looking for him for quite some time. So, how long exactly will this case be held over?" asked defense attorney Robert Harris.
"There's a realization from the defendant and the defendant's family [that] this incest has been going on before with this same victim in this same family," Cline offered.
The judge issued an order to arrest at least one missing witness. Cline said she hoped for a trial by the end of the week.
If convicted, Stowers-Moore faces a sentence of up to 12 years in jail.
durham county, sex offense, local/state
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