In Davidson County, North Carolina, a Lexington man is currently detained under an $8 million secured bond regarding numerous charges of sexual crimes on at least five young girls.
46-year-old Barry Todd Varner is facing 147 felony counts of various statutory rape charges including sex with a minor, indecent liberties with a minor, and second- and third-degree exploitation.
Varner is married, has a steady job with a tobacco company as a private internet contractor, and also teaches martial arts in his spare time.
Meredith Martin of the Family Services of Davidson County is no stranger to victims of sexual abuse, and is aware of the telltale signs.
“Sometimes it’s strangers, but often times the people who perpetrate this violence are people that you know and who create a relationship with your child,” she warns. “I would definitely be mindful of things like they don’t want to show you their phone, they don’t want you to have access to their Facebook account, they don’t want you to know what they’re doing on Instagram. Those are things that parents need to be engaged in.”
The County Sheriff, David Grice, says the investigation has been ongoing since a young girl filed a report in August, which led to detectives discovering incriminating evidence when they searched his home. The evidence was in the form of pictures and amateur videos of underage girls, as well as child pornography downloaded from the Internet.
All potential victims involved in the case are females between 13 and 15 years old and live close by. Grice has issued a statement warning of the dangers unsupervised young teenagers can fall into.
“Know who your children are associating with,” he said. “Ask a lot of questions, even if it’s a function of the community that you think is okay. Without singling any groups out or anything: sports, youth groups, even church. Continue to ask a lot of questions, continue to question your children. If it doesn’t seem right, keep asking questions.”