NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) – Peter Frank, a band teacher at Roland Grise Middle School, has been suspended without pay from his role with New Hanover County Schools, after being charged with a dozen felony sex crimes.
Frank faces six charges of indecent liberties with a child and six charges of indecent liberties with a student by a teacher. An investigation revealed the alleged crimes stretch from 2003 to 2019 and involve six female victims.
New Hanover County Schools issued the following statement Wednesday announcing the change in his employment status:
New Hanover County Schools continues to work closely with the sheriff’s department regarding the allegations made against Mr. Pete Frank, a teacher at Roland-Grise Middle School. As of today, Mr. Frank’s status has changed from suspension with pay to suspension without pay. The Superintendent will be making a further recommendation to the Board of Education as appropriate.
New Hanover County Schools are actively training administrators and other staff to better understand, recognize and report predatory behavior. The school system is committed to ensuring that all staff are trained and we are using the Darkness to Light Program to accomplish this goal.
New Hanover County Schools and the Board of Education encourages anyone with information concerning these allegations or any such incident to report to a school official. Should a student, employee, or community member wish to share information, either anonymously or directly, please speak directly to a school or law enforcement official or you may use the Ethix360 Program located on the NHCS Website.
It is the policy and practice of New Hanover County Schools to report allegations of sexual misconduct to appropriate law enforcement agencies.”
Prior to his suspension without pay from Roland Grise Middle School, Frank had been suspended with pay starting Jan. 23. Frank has been with the school system since July 7, 1997.
According to New Hanover County Schools, Frank was also suspended in December of 2015 while an investigation was completed for an incident not involving students.
According to warrants, Frank’s five alleged victims were between the ages of 12 and 14 when they were reportedly abused.
The warrants detailing charges for the youngest victim say the offense occurred this school year and stretched through Dec. 31, 2019.
The documents don’t describe the nature of the crimes, but note that Frank “did take and attempt to take immoral, improper and indecent liberties” with the victims, who were all under the age of 16 at the time “for the purpose of arousing and gratifying sexual desire.”
District Attorney Ben David says the investigation into Frank was initially launched after one of the victims, now over the age of 30, approached the district attorney’s office. Because the incident was reported to an employee of the district attorney’s office, the case has been referred to the state attorney general, the same office investigating the failure to report allegations out of the Michael Kelly case.
At a bond hearing Tuesday afternoon, Frank’s bond was set at $750,000. Each charge of indecent liberties with a child carries a max of 59 months in prison if convicted. The charges for indecent liberties with a student carry a penalty of two years each.
Anyone with information is asked to please contact the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office at 910-798-4260.
Copyright 2020 WECT. All rights reserved.
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