Dozens of Additional Charges for New Hanover Teacher After 7 New Victims Identified

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.

Michael Kelly - New Hanover

Michael Kelly Mugshot via NHCSD

Kelly now faces a total of 59 charges.

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.

Full list of charges for Michael Kelly:

1 Count INDECENT LIBERTIES STUDENT (F) (Bond: $1,000,000.00)
3 Counts SOLICITATION TO COMMIT (F) (Bond: $500,000.00)
23 Counts INDECENT LIBERTIES STUDENT (F) (Bond: $500,000.00)
20 Counts INDECENT LIBERTIES W/ CHILD (Bond: $100,000.00)

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.

Dear Parents:

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:

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
Rigsbee Diane Reprimand Other-Falsifying application
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


About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a freelance journalist and is currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_
This entry was posted in A.P. Dillon (LL1885), CRIME, EDUCATION, Quiet Epidemic and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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