Teacher arrested for exploitation of children

Published 9:29 am Thursday, February 25, 2016

A school teacher who lived in Mocksville was arrested last week for six counts of third degree sexual exploitation of a minor.

Clifton Woerner Higgins, 31, was a resident of the Charleston Ridge subdivision when Mocksville police got a tip that he had improper images of children on his computer, said Mocksville Police Lt. Det. P.A. Reagan.

He was taken into custody Friday in Davidson County and transported to the Davie Detention Center, where his bond was set at $300,000, pending a Feb. 25 first-appearance hearing in Davie District Court. At the time of his arrest, he listed a Lexington address.

Higgins had taught in Davie County Schools, but was teaching in Davidson County at the time of his arrest, Reagan said.

Reagan said there was no evidence that Higgins had contact with any of the children. A third degree charge means possession of pictures and video of explicit sexual content.

Investigators allege that Higgins committed the crimes over the internet during late 2015 and early 2016 in Mocksville.

Davidson County Schools immediately suspended Higgins with pay pending the outcome of the investigation. The school system is conducting its own investigation, as well as cooperating with law enforcement.

“While Davidson County Schools cannot discuss or disclose details due to confidentiality laws, we want to assure the school community that there is no reason to believe that any incident happened on school grounds nor were any students at risk.”

Higgins was a music teacher for two Davidson elementary schools.

The Davie Sheriff’s Department’s computer forensics team helped with the investigation.