Second West Rowan Middle teacher facing child sex crime charges


Pictured above: Donovan Hernandez, Ethan Grose, and Justin Avery – Picture courtesy of the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office


On January 12, 2020, Rowan County Sheriff’s Office Detectives obtained charges on a second West Rowan Middle School teacher for sexually based offenses involving a student. Justin Andrew Avery, age 29, was arrested and charged with 3rd Degree Exploitation of a Minor and Indecent Liberties with a Child. Ethan Andrew Grose, the WRMS teacher who was arrested on December 23, 2019, will now also face an additional charge of 3rd Degree of Exploitation of a Minor as well. Grose posted a $25,000 bond after being arrested on the initial charge in December, while at the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office. The Iredell County Sheriff’s Office located Grose once the new charge was obtained, and took him back into custody.

During the investigation, evidence was obtained that showed both teachers communicated with the student via social media applications, and exchanged sexually explicit images. A third suspect was also identified as 24 year old Donovan Perez Hernandez who is not associated with Rowan-Salisbury Schools, however is a resident of Salisbury. Warrants were also obtained for Hernadez’s arrest; however detectives have been unsuccessful in locating him at present and his warrants remain active.

Hernandez faces the same Indecent Liberties and Exploitation charges that Grose and Avery face, and all three cases involve the same juvenile victim.

Anyone with information of the whereabouts of Donovan Hernandez is asked to call 911 or Salisbury/Rowan Crime Stoppers at 1-866-639-5245, and assist in his arrest.

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