UPDATE: Skip Waters Responds To Lawsuit

WCTI chief meteorologist Skip Waters denies he bought a 16 year old drugs, had sex with him, or showed him pornography in 2004.

Bert Diener, the attorney for 21 year-old John Lero, who filed suit against Waters, said Monday was the deadline for a response to be filed in court.

In the documents, Waters denies having a sexual relationship with Lero when he was 16 and asks for the suit to be dismissed.

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A long-time television meteorologist and his TV station have been named in a lawsuit alleging an inappropriate relationship with a teenager.

The lawsuit, against Skip Waters and the owners of WCTI-TV, was filed late last month in Pitt County. WITN News obtained a copy of the court document Tuesday morning.

In the 10-page lawsuit, John Lero claims he met Waters at the television station in 2004 when he was approximately 16. Lero is now 21.

The lawsuit claims Waters invited the teen to his home and eventually initiated a sexual relationship with the teen.

The suit alleges the meteorologist would rent pornographic movies and purchase marijuana and alcohol for the two to smoke and drink. It also claims Waters gave the teen a key to his home and that the two had unprotected sex.

The lawsuit also says in June 2006, "Defendant (Waters) told Craven County Law Enforcement that Plaintiff (Lero) had kidnapped and raped him.”

It says Lero was arrested and jailed. The suit says those charges were dropped two weeks later by the district attorney's office. The suit claims the Waters made the accusations out of “spite” and “revenge” because the plaintfiff was not spending as much time with Waters.

The lawsuit says it named WCTI's owners as well because the television station had employed "Waters as a community liaison" and that the station "had an ample opportunity to witness the inappropriate intimate relationship" between Waters and the teen.

The lawsuit says in January 2008 the station was given notice of Waters' "illegal sexual conduct and drug use with the Plaintiff in the form of a letter.”

It says after receiving the letter, WCTI's owners "still employed and directed defendant Waters to visit local elementary schools.”

The lawsuit is seeking damages in excess of $120,000.

A legal expert tells WITN the age of consent in North Carolina is 16, and there is no criminal act as long as there is consent. The expert says that changes if dominance, authority or coercion is used to force the 16-year-old to consent.

District Attorney Scott Thomas said the allegations against Waters in the lawsuit were investigated criminally back in 2006 by the Trent Woods police, and no charges were filed against Waters.

Thomas said the case was one person’s word against another’s word.

The lawsuit also cites Waters two prior DWI convictions, which according to court documents took place in 2004 and 1989.

In a statement, WCTI's vice president and general manager said the station has done nothing wrong.

"The station believes it has no liability in this situation and will defend itself against these baseless charges. The alleged incidents are of a private nature and are not connected to the employee's role or responsibilities at the station," said Fisher.

Fisher told WITN News that Waters was still employed by the station.

Asked if Waters would be on the air Tuesday night, Fisher responded "if he feel like he wants to go on tonight he will, but that determination has yet to be made."

Fisher’s statement said an internal investigation was started once the station became aware of the lawsuit.

“Furthermore, we will afford the employee the presumption of innocence guaranteed to all citizens,” Fisher’s statement read. “If at any time it is demonstrated that the actions of the employee were inappropriate, or violated company policy, we will take appropriate action.”

WITN is trying to contact Waters for a statement. There was no answer at his home early Tuesday afternoon.

You can read the lawsuit and WCTI's response by clicking on the links above.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Tyler McLamb Location: New Bern on Feb 6, 2011 at 04:52 AM
    skip i love you and am praying for you, i know that you are in the right place, and im sorry this is happening to you. just keep uyre head and Jr why dont you just stop it already with the lies. christ sake man. tell the truth jr about what was really going on, like we already dont know.
  • by Dave Location: New Bern on Jun 25, 2010 at 03:39 AM
    I would like to say that what ever happen is yet to be seen. I feel that Skip Waters has been part of all of our live and has help to save many of our live. In all the years that he has been on TV, he has done more good then bad. Get past the age thing if in fact the he was 16 years old he know what he was doing and now just wants to be a little greedy and play the money carrd. Just to get more dope. Shame on him. When he wanted to get High Skip Was his friend and now that is not enough. I hope you Skip you find better friends from now on!! Thank you Skip for all you have done right in all of our lives over the years. How many of us can say that we have done every thing right in all of our lives! Really?
  • by BEENTHERE Location: ENC on Oct 8, 2009 at 06:06 AM
    You want to know why wait? Maybe you haven't read this NEWS article....Why not do something now? Why shouldn't someone pay the price ,whether the boy was 16 or 26.I can see why you and ohters believe the way you do.It seems that the concern pocketbook and love of money is greater than the concern for humanity.The gap bewtween 16 and 50 is a greater gap than 16 and 21.I am beginning to wonder where people's desires really rest when I read post like "it's all about money"...or" he was 16,he knew what he was doing?"..I wonder are they defending Mr Waters or giving credence to their own weakness' or failures.
  • by Sue Location: nc on Oct 5, 2009 at 11:24 AM
    Why wait until now to drag someone name through the mud. This boy were 16 at the time, big gap between then and now. Hang in there skip! This boy as the law told me about my child, 16 is considered as an adult so basically, he knew right from wrong. He's not retarded or slow in order to file a lawsuit now!!! Just wanting the money I believe.
  • by Beenthere Location: ENC on Oct 4, 2009 at 04:07 PM
    TOO ANONYMOUS,at 17 year old I was taken out of state by a man twice my age.He was someone that I had respected.He was a well known entrepreneur and highly respected by most people.He ask my parents for me to take a trip with him.As I had interest in his line of business,it seemed the perfect opportunity for me.NO ONE ever new the scruples of this guy.My Gr Father was a Methodist minister and also had met him.This happened in 1970 and after the incident he moved out of state.For more than 2 weeks I would wake up with him in the bed with me.I was afraid,as if I were having a nightmare.I could hardly breath,sweated profusely and never opened my eyes.I was horrified and went into major depression.My parents and friends new something was wrong,BUT I NEVER TOLD ANYONE and it took me until 2008 to find him.My Mother still does not know.Nothing is as black and white as you have painted the picture.I knew right from wrong.You probably don't know all about you son.30 yrs and I faced my monster.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 2, 2009 at 01:06 PM
    People who break the law should be punished. People who see the law being broken should report it. Doesn't this apply to all? Shouldn't his mother have reported the law was being broken right from the start when her 16 yr old son was having a relationship with Skip? Why the wait? IF she had a problem with Skip messing with her son and drinking and she did not report it immediatley, than shouldn't she be charged for contributing to the deliquency and abuse of her own child? Maybe she did not know. Just a question. I am sure all will be happy when it is over. No one should be going through this. Shame on all of you and your son too. My 16 year old knows right from wrong. So does yours. No excuse for Skip.
  • by Mom Location: NC on Sep 24, 2009 at 01:23 PM
    OMIGOSH Skippy! I never knew! If he (Skippy) is actually guilty? Where was that kids mother? I am a Mom and I know pretty much what my kids are doing and who they are doing it with. If its been going on that long what rock does she live under? Where is her responsibility? I really question that kid. Skip, hang out with folks your own age and you usually will not have a problem like this. Just a thought.
  • by Bill Location: Greenville on Sep 22, 2009 at 06:38 PM
    If Skip is gay, why is it that(at his age) he doesn't have a life partner ? Oh yeah, he likes enticing teenage boys with alcohol and pot ! Outstanding character with values we can all commend ! FAIL
  • by Rick Location: New Bern on Sep 12, 2009 at 01:44 AM
    Thanks for the post "pooh".If in fact Mr Waters was with these or even with one of these young men and thet are under the age of 21, '''SOMEBODY'''needs to be accountable for their having Alcohol.If Lero was there with Mr Waters it is evident that Skip doesn't seem to think that laws concerning the use of alcohol are important.There is a SHOW of lack of real concern for the laws and youth of our communities.If Lero was a minor and the establishment of Ch 12 knew about this behavior,they should pay dearly for the absolute disregard for our laws and youth.HOW STUPID AND IRRISPONSIBLE....'''pooh'''they should PAY OFF and a lot more than stated in the suit.It's DISGUTING
  • by pooh Location: jacksonville on Sep 10, 2009 at 05:36 PM
    one of the youg boys in the photo is John Lero, who was a minor at the time he was hanging with skip. I would hardly think all these other boys would be any older and they certainly do not look it. so it was a public place, big deal, je took john lero to all the channel 12 functions. he did not hide his relationship with the station people.
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