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Former high school receptionist pleads guilty to felony sex offenses
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Conviction

Former high school receptionist pleads guilty to felony sex offenses

Leigh Greene was a high school receptionist when charges filed

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Leigh Greene is walked to a Burke County Sheriff's Office patrol car in an August 2019 file photo taken at the Burke County Courthouse.

A former high school receptionist who was indicted in August 2019 on child sex offenses pleaded guilty last month to two felonies.

Leigh Perkins Greene, 53, of Morganton, pleaded guilty to felony disseminate obscene material and felony crimes against nature Dec. 7, according to court documents filed at the Burke County Courthouse.

Greene initially was indicted Aug. 12, 2019, on charges of attempted indecent liberties with a student by school personnel other than a teacher or administrator, disseminate obscene picture, third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and providing alcohol to underage persons, according to the indictment filed in her case file.

According to the indictment, Greene sent obscene photos of her genitals to a student at Patton High School while she was working there as a receptionist.

Greene was terminated from her position with the school system July 11, 2019, according to a previous News Herald article.

Charges against her for attempted indecent liberties with a student, third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and giving malt beverage/unfortified or fortified wine to someone under 21 were dropped as part of her plea arrangement, court documents said.

Greene received a suspended sentence of six to 17 months for each charge, the court documents said, with 30 months of supervised probation for each charge.

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The sentences are to run consecutively, so Greene will spend 60 months on probation if she does not violate the terms of her probation.

Per the terms of her probation, Greene cannot have contact with the victim or their family, and she is required to give a DNA sample.

She does not have to register as a sex offender, as the charges she pleaded guilty to are not eligible for the sex offender registry, according to information from the N.C. Sheriff’s Association and District Attorney Scott Reilly.

“She pled guilty to exactly what she did,” Reilly said.

She is not prohibited from going on school property as one of the terms of her plea deal. Reilly said, had she been convicted of an offense that qualifies for the sex offender registry, there would have been restrictions on that.

But when a person is put on probation, Reilly said, they go through a risk assessment and probation officers may put more restrictions on them that they think could cause the person to reoffend. Such restrictions could include things like prohibiting a person from school property, Reilly said.

The News Herald reached out to a public information officer with N.C. Probation and Parole about Greene’s specific restrictions, but the question went unanswered.

The newspaper also asked Burke County Public Schools if it had banned Greene from any of its properties.

Cheryl Shuffler, the schools' public relations officer, said the school system’s attorney said that ban notices were not a matter of public record.

Chrissy Murphy is a staff writer and can be reached at cmurphy@morganton.com or at 828-432-8941. Follow @cmurphyMNH on Twitter.

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