Search warrants released Friday in Rowan County show that a popular former teacher, coach and Scoutmaster admitted to investigators that he had molested young boys on Boy Scout camping trips and at a church sleep over.
James Barringer, III, has been charged with seven counts of taking indecent liberties with children and is free on $125,000 bond.
The warrants show that investigators with the Rowan County Sheriff's office searched the Rowan-Salisbury School System's files for all employment records related to Barringer, who resigned from the school system last week.
Barringer had been a math teacher, athletic director, and wrestling coach at China Grove Middle School.
Investigators also searched the office of the Central North Carolina Boy Scout Council, in Albemarle, for all records pertaining to his time as a scout leader. At the time of his arrest Barringer was listed as an assistant Scoutmaster with Ebeneezer Lutheran Church.
The warrants state on July 13 the investigation began after detectives received complaints that Barringer had sexual contact with a child during an overnight scouting trip.
**WARNING: INFORMATION FROM THE SEARCH WARRANTS MAY NOT BE APPROPRIATE FOR ALL READERS, IT CONTAINS SENSITIVE INFORMATION ABOUT ALLEGED CHILD VICTIMS**
Three alleged victims said Barringer had touched their genitals when they were supposed to be asleep. According to the warrant, Barringer reached inside the victims' clothes and stroked their genitals.
These incidents happened while the victims were with Barringer on an overnight Boy Scout trip at a house near High Rock Lake.
It is also stated that the incidents happened more than once over the past two years.
Parents of these victims found out about the alleged abuse when one of the children texted Barringer saying they knew what he did when he thought the victim was asleep.
According to the warrant, Barringer replied "I'm a [expletive] and have lost a friend. I will sleep upstairs next time."
Barringer was interviewed by detectives three days later, and according to the warrants, confessed to touching the boys.
He admitted that "he had put his hands down the pants of each of the three victims more than once and stated that he was just trying to make them feel good."
Following Barringer's arrest last week, investigators were contacted by two additional people who made accusations that they had been sexually assaulted by Barringer in the 1990s.
One of the people told detectives that Barringer had gotten into trouble years earlier for a sexual incident and was forced to leave the Boy Scouts.
WBTV has learned that the sheriff's office is investigating that claim.
The other alleged victim told detectives that during a "sleep-in" event at a Rowan County church in the 1990s, he woke up to find Barringer with his hands inside the child's pants.
The alleged victim said the same thing happened several more times during the night.
The following morning the alleged victim told his parents what had happened.
According to the warrants, the parents told church leaders who met with Barringer and he stopped attending the church.
Investigators say they also spoke to a witness who remembered the incident involving the young boy and the church event. That witness told detectives Barringer had agreed to get counseling.
The incident was never reported to law enforcement, according to the warrants.
The warrants also spell out that after Barringer was arrested on July 16 he made a phone call to his family members and told them the names of the alleged victims.
Investigators began to monitor social media sites for discussions about the case.
The warrants reveal that "several individuals unfamiliar with the investigation or any of the investigation's details, posted statements supporting James Barringer and criticized witnesses and victims involved in the case."
Detectives said that "these public attacks of the victims and witnesses in public such as social networks makes the chances of other victims and witnesses coming to investigators with information more difficult and hampers the investigative process."
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