Suspect in rape loses job with kids

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 17, 2004

A Linden man accused of raping a teenage relative has been terminated from his job at an alternative school and has been served an order not to trespass at that school.

Linden Police arrested Dwight McCorvey, 38, of Linden, on rape and sodomy charges on March 12 after accusations that McCorvey had raped a relative over the past five years.

The case came to a head on March 11 when McCorvey’s wife sought the help of police following a disturbance at her house. According to Linden Police Chief Jeff Laduron, McCorvey went “bizerk” when a young man came to visit McCorvey’s female relative last week.

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“He got so jealous when this guy came over to the house,” Laduron said. “Dwight left screaming and crying.”

That behavior signaled what became a floodgate of emotion for McCorvey’s wife, who learned that the young relative had written a long letter explaining all the cases of rape between herself and McCorvey.

According to Laduron, the wife removed both guns from their house and went straight to law enforcement officials.

After interviewing the victim and notifying District Attorney Greg Griggers, Laduron, along with Sgt. Scott McClure and Officer Dexter Watters, arrested McCorvey on Friday evening.

“We walked in and he was laying on the couch,” Laduron said. “I put the handcuffs on him and read him his rights.”

McCorvey faces felony charges of rape and sodomy, both in the first degree. As of Tuesday afternoon, he had not posted the $50,000 bond set by Judge Wade Drinkard. As of Tuesday, McCorvey also was unemployed.

Prior to the arrest, McCorvey was an instructor at the Family Resource Center in Linden. The facility, which handles in-school suspension students for both Linden City and Marengo County schools, divides male and female students, according to Ed Ward.

“Before this happened, [McCorvey] had actually been placed on leave,” said Ward, who serves as a consultant and is retired from the juvenile court system. “He has now been terminated.”

Laduron said an investigation into McCorvey’s tenure at the alternative school is still under way.

“We’ve gotten a few phone calls where people have told us we need to talk to so-and-so, but we haven’t found anybody who he put his hands on yet,” Laduron said. “We do have one young female who he had been making calls to.”

This apparently isn’t the first time McCorvey has been accused of making advances on young women. Though he was never tried or convicted, McCorvey was released from his position a couple of years ago for a note he was suspected of passing to a female student.

Ward said he looked into the problem and said he could not prove the origin of the note.

“We really couldn’t prove anything at that point,” he said.

Luke Hallmark, superintendent of the Marengo County School System, said he was aware of the previous problem with McCorvey but agreed the particular case did not warrant a termination.

Before learning of McCorvey’s termination from the Family Resource Center, Hallmark said he was concerned about interaction between the suspect and young students.

“Right now, he hasn’t been to court, so it’s hard for me to speak against him,” Hallmark said. “But I do think it’s probably good to keep some distance between him and the program.”

According to Laduron, that’s exactly what will happen. Tuesday, police served McCorvey with an order not to trespass on school property.

If McCorvey makes bail, Laduron said he did not know that a restraining order had been issued protecting McCorvey’s wife and the young victim.

Though an investigation is ongoing, Laduron said there have been no real signs of the sexual relationship between McCorvey and the young relative up to this point.

“From what we can tell, he had been making threats to the girl if she told anyone,” Laduron said. “And at that age, I think it scared her.”

Griggers said McCorvey has been charged with both rape and sodomy because of leverage it would give him in court against the suspect. Though the Marengo County Grand Jury does not meet again for another month, Griggers said he believes there is a strong case against McCorvey.

“We served and executed a search warrant, and some of the things identified by the child have been supported and corroborated after the search,” Griggers said.

According to Laduron, both McCorvey’s wife and the victim are staying in a safe house and are receiving both protection and counseling.