The statutory rape charges recently filed against an Orange County teacher have been dropped by the district attorney.
As previously reported, William Thomas Pendergrass III, age 60, was arrested earlier this month and charged with one felony count of statutory rape, two felony charges of statutory sex offenses and three felony charges of indecent liberties with a child.
Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman told the News & Observer that the North Carolina law for statutory rape of a person 15 years or younger wasn’t in effect in 1986.
Pendergrass still is facing seven indecent liberties charges.
The charges stem from alleged incidents involving a 15-year-old female that took place during a one year period from July 14, 1986, to July 1987. Pendergrass was 27-years-old at the time of the alleged incidents.
Pendergrass had turned himself in and was being held at the Wake County Detention Center under a $1.6 million secured bond. His bail was reduced to $25,o00 and he was released on Monday, October 7.
Orange County schools placed Pendergrass on administrative leave from his position as a band teacher at Gravelly Hill Middle School located in Efland pending the outcome of the investigation.