Grand Jury Indicts Teacher On 17 Sex Offense Charges

Grand Jury Indicts Teacher On 17 Sex Offense Charges

Grand Jury Indicts Teacher On 17 Sex Offense Charges Featured

By / Local News / Tuesday, 03 March 2020 14:46

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

NEW HANOVER CTY - A band teacher at Roland Grise Middle School was arrested January 27th, for sex crimes. According to Lieutenant Jerry Brewer with the New Hanover County Sheriff's Department, Peter Frank was arrested on twelve counts of felony sex crimes involving students.

On Tuesday March 3rd, North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein announced that a, "New Hanover County Grand Jury returned a 17-count bill of indictment charging Peter Michael Frank with first-degree sexual offense, statutory sex offense with a person who is 13, 14, or 15, sexual activity with a student, indecent liberties with a child, and indecent liberties with a student."

In January Lieutenant Jerry Brewer with the New Hanover County Sheriff's Department, said Peter Frank was initially arrested on twelve counts of felony sex crimes involving students. Brewer explained, "The investigation unveiled that these crimes began in 2003 and most recently in 2019 dealing with six victims. Frank has been charged with 12 felony charges, 6 indecent liberties with a child, and 6 indecent liberties with a student by a teacher. This is an ongoing investigation and any additional information will be released as it becomes available."

The Attorney General's Special Prosecutions Section investigated the case at the request of District Attorney Ben David. The Sheriff's Department conducted the investigation of the case.

Charlie Broadfoot, Principal of Roland-Grise Middle School, wrote a letter to parents on January 28th, explaining, "On January 27, 2020 the Band Director at Roland-Grise, Mr. Pete Frank, was arrested and charged with taking indecent liberties with students during the period from 2003 to 2019. Mr. Frank is no longer working at our school and the investigation into these charges by law enforcement is ongoing. Both Roland-Grise and New Hanover County Schools are cooperating fully with this investigation."

Broadfoot went on to explain, "In addition, Roland-Grise administration and student support services are here to work with students should they have any concerns surrounding this incident or if they simply need to talk. Our number one priority is the safety and well-being of our students and we will continue to support students through this trying time."

Attorney General Josh Stein explained on March 3rd, "The indictment alleges that Frank committed these crimes while he was a teacher at Roland-Grise Middle School in Wilmington and his victim was a minor and a student at the same school. The incidents allegedly occurred between September 1998 and August 2000."

Frank remains in jail under a $750,000 bond on six counts of indecent liberties with a child and six counts of indecent liberties with a student by a teacher in a separate case.

New Hanover County Board of Education voted to dismiss Peter Frank today, February 15, 2020. Frank’s termination is effective immediately. The approved resolution dismissing Peter Frank can be viewed here.

The Board appreciates the quick work of Dr. LaChawn Smith and the administration in moving this process along as quickly as possible within the confines of the law.  With this action complete, we move forward with our focus on supporting our students, families, and staff.

Frank was suspended with pay on January 27, 2020, and without pay on January 29, 2020. New Hanover County Schools and the Board of Education followed steps outlined in NCGS 115C, which dictates the dismissal process for a “career status” teacher. Frank had 14 days from January 29, 2020, to request a hearing and, having not received a request, the district moved forward. The cause cited for dismissal is in Frank's dismissal letter.

In addition, below is a statement from Deputy Superintendent Dr. Lachawn Smith:

“Peter Frank’s alleged actions are reprehensible and we will work with investigators on his case in any way that is asked of us. We are committed to providing support to the students, teachers, and parents who have been impacted by his actions. We appreciate the public’s patience as we follow state law in his dismissal. The district is working hard every single day to improve our processes and put practices into place to hold teachers, staff, and administration accountable. We are already taking proactive steps to further ensure the safety and well-being of our students, and we will keep you informed in an open and transparent way as we move forward.

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