Former school resource officer facing sex trafficking charges

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – A former school resource officer in Oconee County is facing charges of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and sexual exploitation of children.

We first told you about John Towery back in March when he was fired from his position as a school resource officer at Fair Oak Elementary amid an investigation with the Department of Homeland Security. Court documents show this week, Towery was charged with conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and with sexual exploitation of children.

“Our whole goal during this whole process is to make sure and understand that our kids at no point were ever at harm,” said Fair Oak Elementary School Principal David Thompson.

Thompson said the Department of Homeland Security and the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office told him there is no concern for any of his students.

“We’re going to continue to provide a loving and nurturing environment just like we do each and every day here,” said Thompson.

He said Towery was an employee of the Sheriff’s Office and not an employee of the school district.

Sheriff Mike Crenshaw sent 7 News a statement saying in part, “it is disheartening to think any law enforcement officer would involve themselves in this type of behavior… I feel confident saying that no children in Oconee County are victims as a result of towery’s actions.”

Regardless, Principal Thompson said the whole thing is heartbreaking.

“Because, you know, you don’t want anything to happen,” Thompson said. “I don’t want there to be any confusion either that the safety of our students has been the most important factor in this whole process.”

7 News reached out to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and to Towery’s Attorney for comment, we have yet to hear back.

According to court documents, Towery pleaded not guilty on Monday.

He has since bonded out of jail on a $25-thousand dollar bond with home detention, GPS monitoring, and special conditions associated with the charges.

This is an ongoing investigation. Check back here for more details.

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