Former Burke County Teacher Arrested For Having Child Porn, Sexually Assaulting Child

VALDESE, N.C. — Investigators say a former Burke County teacher is facing charges for possessing child porn and for sexually assaulting a child.

Deputies say the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children contacted the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation Computer Crimes Unit regarding a social networking and dating application having images between what was believed to be a child and an adult. Detectives say the images were of a graphic nature and depicted juveniles undressed.

The investigation led detectives to the home of Michael Lowman, who was a 4th grade teacher at George hildebrand Elementary School until he resigned on September 18, 2017

After conducting an interview with Lowman, probable cause was developed to seize his phone, according to a news release. Detectives say numerous images of child porn were located on the phone.

A polygraph examination was conducted and Lowman disclosed that he had downloaded and uploaded child porn on his phone, according to detectives. He also admitted that he had taken indecent liberties with a minor, according to a news release.

Lowman has been charged with two counts of 2nd degree exploitation of minors and one count of indecent liberties with a child.

School officials say Lowman resigned from the Burke County Public School system and surrendered his teaching license Monday morning.

Burke County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Larry Putnam has issued the following statement and information:

“I am deeply saddened about the news of this arrest and these charges. Our primary goal is always the safety and wellbeing of our students. The George Hildebrand community is a strong community and they have our full support.

Burke County Public Schools is working closely with local and state law enforcement agencies as this investigation continues. Anyone with information related to the investigation should contact the Burke County Sheriff’s Department.

Burke County Public Schools conducts a thorough background investigation into potential employees during the pre-employment process. If criminal allegations arise during employment we work directly with law enforcement to ensure a thorough investigation. We encourage anyone with suspicions that if they see something, they should say something and report it to administration or those in authority.”