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Former Ashe County H.S. Band Director Indicted on Three Counts of Taking Indecent Liberties with a Minor

March 13, 2012. The former band director at Ashe County High School faces charges of taking indecent liberties with a student, according to the Wilkes Journal-Patriot.

Ryan Claar, 32, of Sugar Grove was indicted by an Ashe County Superior Court grand jury Monday on three counts of the felony offense of a teacher taking indecent liberties with a student.

Ashe Sheriff James Williams said the charges resulted from sexual encounters with a student who was younger than 18 on the Ashe County High School campus. He said his department’s investigation of Claar started over a month ago.

The Ashe County Board of Education suspended Claar from employment with the school system with pay on Feb. 6. He later resigned.

Board member Dr. Lee Beckworth told High Country Press the situation was brought to the board’s attention after the “Ashe County Sheriff’s Department was made aware of the accusations.” He added that this incident isn’t a reflection of the Ashe County Schools System.

“We are disappointed that it happened. The safety of the kids in the school system is the number one priority,” Beckworth said. “This is a very rare instance and not a reflection of the school system. In my opinion, it’s just an individual making a mistake.”

Claar had been employed as Ashe County High School’s band director for about a year and a half. He is scheduled to be formally arraigned Thursday in Ashe Superior Court.

Warrants will be served and a bond set in the case at that time, stated an Ashe Sheriff’s Department press release.