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Police Arrest High School Choir Director On Torture/Child Abuse Charges

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - A high school choir director is charged with some serious crimes. Huntsville Police charged Cleopha Pair with torture and willful abuse of a child.

Pair works at S. R. Butler and J. O. Johnson High Schools. Huntsville City School Superintendent Dr. Casey Wardynski wants to know more about Pair's arrest.

Investigators are still building their case against Pair. Dr. Wardynski will soon get his chance to ask questions. Police believe the choir director harmed a 2-year-old.

Investigators believe Pair is to blame for the burns on the two-year-old boy's hand. They started looking into the boy's injuries and Pair's potential involvement in January. They arrested the 49-year-old Wednesday.

"Based on that information and the arrest of Mr. Pair, we're suspending him from services here at Huntsville City Schools," said Dr. Wardynski.

Dr. Wardynski is Pair's boss. The school district is paying Pair as he stays out of the classroom. Dr. Wardynski thinks the severity of the allegations might determine if the school system is required to pay Pair during the legal process.

"If we don't, of course we won't. If we have to, we will. The key thing is he won't be working in our schools until a determination is made by us or the police," added Dr. Wardynski.

Police say Pair took his Godchild to Madison Hospital in January and hospital staff called DHR. The child was then taken to a hospital in Birmingham and given tests. Investigators made the arrest after looking at the test results. Pair bonded out of the jail Thursday.