'You stole my childhood,' accuser says

A James Island Middle School teacher who was South Carolina's Teacher of the Year in 1986 but is now accused of molesting a boy in the early to mid-1980s was released from jail Saturday after posting $20,000 bond.

Charles H. "Chuck" Long Jr. appeared via video feed from the Charleston County Detention Center while his bond was set by Magistrate Priscilla Baldwin. He is charged with committing a lewd act on a minor.

In court, the accuser, now 36, released an impassioned statement that was read by his sister relating how the alleged molestation has affected him.

"You jaded how I look at people and life," the statement said. "You stole my identity and childhood. Because of what you have done to me, I have been confused but did not know it."

It continued: "I did not trust anyone but did not know why. I thought everyone was bad and had ulterior motives for their actions."

The Post and Courier's policy is to not identify victims of sex-abuse crimes, but the accuser, Chad Waltz, said he wanted his name published. The events occurred between the time Waltz was 11 and 14, authorities have said.

Long, 57, a married father of two, also was the director of the Charleston Youth Company, a performing arts program for students that he founded. Before his arrest Friday, he had no previous criminal record, according to his attorney, Andy Savage.

The charge stems from incidents that are alleged to have happened at Long's West Ashley home between 1980 and 1985, when he taught at Stono Park Elementary School.

Long's biography says he has worked in education for more than three decades.

He has been suspended with pay by the Charleston County School District from his James Island Middle School post.

Outside the courtroom, Donna Jarrell, president of the board of directors for Charleston Youth Company, said she has been a friend of the Longs for years and that she was "totally shocked" by the allegations. Numerous alumni of the program have made contact to support Long, she said.

"We believe his name will be cleared," she said.

Because of the severity of the allegations, Long has been suspended with pay until the court process plays out, Jarrell said.

Sheriff Al Cannon said earlier that the accuser had been involved with the performance group. There is no statute of limitations in South Carolina for this type of charge, officials have said.

A stipulation of Long's bond is that he not be around children under the age of 18 unless he is thoroughly supervised.