New Hanover Public Schools Band teacher Peter Frank has been indicted on over a dozen counts in connection with his arrest on 12 sex-related felonies involving students of the district.
Peter Michael Frank, age 47, was arrested after turning himself in to authorities on Monday, Jan. 27. At that time, he was charged with six counts of indecent liberties with a child and six counts of indecent liberties with a student.
The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office (NHSCO) says the alleged incidents involved at least six students and took place between 2003 and 2019. Frank was issued a $750,000 secured bond and taken to the New Hanover County Detention Center.
On March 3, North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein announced that a Grand Jury in New Hanover County had returned an indictment charging Peter Michael Frank with 17 new counts.
The new charges in the indictment include 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.
According to Stein’s press release, the indictment alleges that Frank committed the crimes while teaching at Roland-Grise Middle School. His victim was a minor and a student at the same school according to the indictment. The incidents allegedly occurred between September 1998 and August 2000.
An additional $100,000 was added to Frank’s secured bond after the indictment, bringing the total to $850,000.
The New Hanover school board announced in mid-February that Frank has been fired. The school board met the morning of Saturday, Feb. 15 and held a long, closed session meeting where they voted unanimously to terminate Frank’s employment for cause.
According to the termination letter, the board claims no prior knowledge for the misconduct that led to the criminal charges against Frank. The letter to Frank says the board believes there is “sufficient evidence” to support his “immediate dismissal” based on the charges against him.
The letter also says the district will inform the Dept. of Public Instruction and have Frank’s teaching license revoked. Since the start of 2020, there have been no updates made to the teacher license revocation and discipline page.
The New Hanover County Schools district also said that Frank was suspended with pay Dec. 3, 2015, while an investigation was completed. NCHPS says Frank was suspended again, this time without pay, for 10 days starting Dec. 9, 2015, for an “incident not involving students.”
It was also reported that Frank had been documented by the New Hanover school system for having “inappropriate relationships” with students during the majority of the time he was employed with the district. According to a report by Star News, the district held a press conference late on Thursday, Jan. 30 at which “district officials confirmed that Frank had yet to be fired because of his tenure.”
The warrants obtained by various media outlets said New Hanover district officials had spoken to Frank these “inappropriate relationships” and revealed years of inappropriate conduct with female students that were noted in both his personnel records and verified by searches of Frank’s electronic devices like his phone and computer.
One search of Frank’s home and property revealed when detectives became aware of a seventh victim from 1999 with whom Frank is accused of engaging in oral sex with on multiple occasions in the school band room.