By Emily Weaver
Dunn Daily Record
Cape Fear Christian Academy’s former trustee is accused of sexually abusing two CFCA students, but attorneys say her first accuser warned the school about the abuse more than a year before the second one.
Deputies arrested 45-year-old Tammy Moran of Coats on March 19, charging her with three counts of engaging in sexual acts with a 17-year-old exchange student in her custody. Cape Fear fired her the same day.
But a parent of her first accuser says the school was warned about a previous sexual encounter with another exchange student — her son — in February 2020.
“The people in charge of Cape Fear Christian Academy knew this woman was a predator. I told them and they ignored me,” the mother said through her attorneys, Coleman Cowan of The Law Offices of James Scott Farrin and Bakari Sellers of The Strom Law Firm in South Carolina. “They were supposed to protect these students. They were supposed to protect my son. Instead, they ignored him. We can’t let this ever happen again.”
Moran became a host mother to the second accuser months later.
“Our first client lived with Ms. Moran from 2019 to 2020. They (school officials) were made aware of it after that point and then they still put another student in her home that subsequent year,” Sellers said.
It is uncertain who made the decision to place students with Moran, but attorneys say they hope to discover that as the investigation moves forward.
“The families have hired us to help them move through this and to protect their interests as well,” Coleman said. “We are paying attention to what’s happening on the criminal side, doing what we can do to help law enforcement, as are the families and we are speaking with the school and it’s very premature at this point, but … we know that at least one parent reported to them.
“We’re trying to find out what else they knew and whether or not they took those accusations seriously, if they investigated them, they obviously involved students, minors, whether or not they reported what they learned to authorities. There are a number of things that we simply don’t know at this point,” Coleman said. “It all centers around what the school knew, when they knew it and what, if anything, they did about it. And that is what we’re focusing on for the families to try to help them understand, as best they can, what happened and not only what happened, but why it happened again.”
Sellers says they are reserving the right to sue the school if evidence shows leaders knew about the first case and sent another student to live with her anyway.
“We will pursue all avenues to seek justice for these clients,” he said. “Nobody sends their child to school to be taken advantage of by a teacher or an administrator.”
Deputies served Moran with new warrants, charging her with embezzlement and having sex with another student on April 26. She is set to appear in court on the charges May 25.
“… We do believe that the evidence will bear out that those (embezzled) funds were used in furtherance of her criminal sexual conduct,” Sellers said. “I think the best way to describe it is that she groomed these young men and was a true predator in this scenario.”
Attorneys say Moran was a host mother to exchange students for a number of years. Anyone with information regarding these cases or any other alleged instances, should contact the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office at 910-893-0300, their local police or Sellers and Cowan.
Cape Fear Christian Academy’s Board of Directors issued the following statement:
“We were made aware by authorities that Mrs. Moran was facing new charges, and our internal investigation is ongoing. We will pursue the facts wherever they may lead and we are committed to making sure that our students are in a safe environment at all times.”