Ex-school worker dies while awaiting child sex crimes trial

November 4, 2019 GMT

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — A former teaching assistant charged with sexually assaulting a student has died while awaiting trial.

News outlets report 40-year-old Nicholas Lavon Oates died Sunday from a pre-existing medical condition while awaiting trial for molesting a student at Myrtle Grove Middle School.

New Hanover County Sheriff’s Lt. Jerry Brewer says Oates had the unspecified condition prior to his 2018 arrest.

Oates was accused of molesting a then-12-year-old in 2016 and then having a sexual relationship with her when she turned 13.

He was indicted by a grand jury on two dozen charges including statutory rape, second-degree kidnapping and sexual activity with a student.

Oates was hired in 2016 and twice suspended from Myrtle Grove: once for sending sexually suggestive texts to the victim and the second time for misconduct.