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Ex-Johnston Co. wrestling coach guilty in case involving student

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James McNamara was indicted in June 2012 on one charge of indecent liberties with a student after he reportedly drove a female student to her home and "engaged in inappropriate sexual activity." James McNamara was indicted in June 2012 on one charge of indecent liberties with a student after he reportedly drove a female student to her home and "engaged in inappropriate sexual activity."
RALEIGH, N.C. -

A former Johnston County wrestling coach pleaded guilty Monday to contributing to the delinquency of a minor in connection with a 2012 incident involving a student.

James McNamara was indicted in June 2012 on one charge of indecent liberties with a student after he reportedly drove a female student to her home and "engaged in inappropriate sexual activity."

The 16-year-old student testified that he asked her to dance and put his hands on her sides. She started drinking vodka to calm her nerves and then they touched each other's private parts.

"He seduced me," she said.

She added, "He said, 'OK, remember, this never happened."

She testified that he said he feared he would lose his job, and she said she promised not to discuss it.

The incident occurred in March 2012 while McNamara was a history teacher and wrestling coach at Corinth Holders High School. He had been a teacher with Johnston County Schools since Aug. 17, 2010.

On Monday, McNamara pleaded guilty to contributing to the delinquency of a minor in connection with the incident. The judge placed McNamara on probation for one year, during which time he is prohibited from being alone with a person under the age of 18 years of age during his period of probation.

McNamara was also ordered to surrender his North Carolina Teaching Certificate.

When the allegations first came to light, students and parents came in support of "Coach Mac," saying he was a positive role model.

"He changed our lives in a lot of ways. He was just an awesome person, just an outstanding coach," student Tyler Sigler said at the time.

Some even called the allegations into question, saying the female student may have falsified the claim.

"Any student at any point in time can say, 'Hey, I'm getting an E, if I make a threat to the school teacher or to this coach or maybe to even a janitor, who knows, anybody in the school system,' then who's to say that they're going to get pushed out too," parent Van Lewis said.

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