A New Hanover County teacher already accused of dozens of sex-related crimes with minors, some of which were students, will have a slew of additional charges added after 7 new victims were identified this month.
In February, it was first reported that New Hanover teacher, Michael Kelly, had been charged with third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, and three counts of indecent liberties with a student.
In March, more charges were added that included:
- One count statutory sex offense with a child (Class B1 Felony)
- Two counts solicitation to commit a felony (Class depends on the related felony)
- Five counts of indecent liberties with a child (Class I Felony)
- Five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor (Class H Felony)
- Sixteen counts of indecent liberties with a student (Class I Felony)
Class B1 felonies carry a maximum sentence of life without parole.
Class H felonies carry a 39-month maximum sentence.
Class I felonies only carry a 24-month maximum sentence.
According to the arrest warrant, Kelly allegedly possessed images of a 15-year-old victim. The images were graphic and included “engaging in sexual activity consisting of holding his erect penis in his hand.
Now 7 more victims of Kelly’s have been identified and a landslide of charges have been added.
Kelly now faces 19 counts of indecent liberties with a child, 24 counts of indecent liberties with a student, and nine other sexual-related offenses that include five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and a count of statutory sex offense.
The new charges added to Kelly are related to the new victims identified, who range in age from 11 to 17. There are now 12 alleged victims. Every single charge attributed to Kelly is a felony.
A $1.5 million was placed on Michael Kelly and he is still in the New Hanover County Detention Facility.
It was uncovered by WECT that a complaint had been filed in 2003 by a parent about Kelly that detailed inappropriate and sometimes disturbing behavior. The parent told WECT that the district ignored her and that Kelly later retaliated against her son by docking his grades.
New Hanover County schools had suspended Kelly without pay, but in early March terminated his employment. Superintendent Tim Markley indicated he had begun the dismissal process after Kelly was arrested in February.
The principal of Isaac Bear, MaryPaul Beall, penned a letter to parents which indicated the school was fully cooperating with law enforcement.
There are times when it is necessary to communicate news that is painful to us all and this is one of those times. I regret to inform you that today, we have been notified by the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office about some serious charges resulting in the arrest of Mr. Michael Kelly, a science teacher here at Isaac Bear. We are shocked and deeply saddened by these allegations.
“At this time, the school is fully cooperating with the law enforcement agencies that are investigating this matter. Mr. Kelly is currently suspended from his duties at IBECHS. We are committed to the safety of our students and expect all staff to adhere to the highest ethical practices and conduct. Should you be contacted by any law enforcement agencies, I encourage you to also cooperate with them in this investigation.
To provide support for our students and staff, we have asked the district’s Crisis Response Team of counselors to be available to help us cope with this situation. Please feel free to call my office if you have any questions. Thank you.
The State Department of Education has updated the Licensure Revocation and Discipline list. Here are the actions by month to date:
|LAST NAME||FIRST-MIDDLE NAMES||ACTION||REASON|
|Flowers||Brandon||Vol. Surrender||Convicted-Crime against nature (solicit)|
|Greene||Jessica||Auto Revocation||Convicted-Sex act with student|
|McCoy||Nathanael||Vol. Surrender||Other-Falsification of licensure documents|
|Palko||Blair||Vol. Surrender||Other-Inappropriate interactions w/female student|
|Dexter||Mark||Auto Revocation||Convicted-Indecent liberties with a child|
|Scales||Tulsa||Revocation||Other-Inappropriate interaction with student|
|Guffey||Jeffrey||Auto Revocation||Convicted-Indecent liberties with a student|
|Henderson||Joshua||Vol. Surrender||Other-inappropriate texting with student|
|McLean||Adrian||Auto Revocation||Convicted-Indecent liberties & sexual exploitation of a minor|
|Vazquez||Juan||Auto Revocation||Convicted-Sex act with a student|
|Wright||Devin||Revocation||Other-inappropriate relationship w/student|