A Wake County school teacher has been arrested for inappropriate sexual conduct with five minors, four of which were students at the school he taught at. The incidents date as far back as 2014.
Indecent liberties with a student is a Class I felony with a sentence of 3 to 12 months per count. Indecent liberties with a minor is a Class F felony with a sentence of 10 to 41 months per count.
Thompson turned himself in to the Wake County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday after the Cary police issued a warrant for his arrest.
He was at first assigned a $400,000 secured bond by a magistrate, but the prosecutor asked for more. The prosecutor noted that “within 20 minutes” of the case being aired on television, the Cary police received a call about another potential victim.
“What we have here is a huge pattern of over eight years of this defendant taking advantage of the position that everyone trusted him in,” said the prosecutor during a June 25 hearing. She went on to suggest a $200,000 bond per victim – a total of $1 million – would be appropriate.
Thompson’s attorney argued for the current bail amount, saying that he has “no history whatsoever” and has been a “respected teacher and athletic director in the community for the last 20 years.” She pointed out these are “allegations and not any sort of criminal conviction.”
His attorney also said that no contact with any of the alleged victims has taken place since he was separated from Wake County Public Schools, however, according to a report by ABC11, Thompson has already applied to teach in another school system. The report did not say which one and this site has a pending inquiry about Thompson with Wake County Public Schools which was fulfilled just after publication.
According to Wake County Public Schools Director of Communications Tim Simmons, “Thompson coached baseball and taught mathematics at Middle Creek beginning in 2005. He was named athletic director in 2013, and stepped down from that post in June 2018.”
One of the questions sent to Wake County Public Schools was whether or not Thompson had passed a background check and when the last criminal history check was performed on him.
“As you know, state personnel law does not allow the district to comment on individuals outside of the information listed in statute,” Simmons wrote in response to the background check question. “Without regard to this particular case, I can tell you that employees are subject to background checks at the time of their hiring.”
From the response given by Simmons and given Thompson was hired in 2005, it appears that his criminal history or background check was done 15 years ago.
After hearing the arguments for the bond, the judge raised it to $500,000.
Thompson apparently posted as he no longer appears on the Wake County Sheriff’s inmate list. The next court date for Thompson is July 16 at 9 a.m. in courtroom 301 of the Wake County Justice Center.
The victims include four students Middle Creek High School and one child under the age of 16. According to the warrants, there were multiple inappropriate incidents with at least four of the victims and inappropriate sexual conduct with three victims, some of which took place in January of this year.
One more alleged victim came forward after Thompson’s arrest according to the prosecutor handling the case.
Middle Creek Principal Lacey Peckham sent a letter to parents about Thompson’s arrest.
I am deeply disturbed by these allegations. Teachers are placed in a position of trust, and the kind of behavior alleged has no place at our school or any school. I want you to know that my administrative team and I immediately contacted police and WCPSS Human Resources as soon as we were made aware of student concerns in January. At that time, Mr. Thompson was suspended and did not return to Middle Creek. He resigned from his position effective April 2020.
Thompson has a valid teaching license with the state in the areas of Mathematics 9-12 and Mathematics 6-9. That license was issued in 2017 and will expire in June of 2022 unless revoked beforehand.
In addition to teaching at Middle Creek High, Thompson had also coached the baseball team. According to High School OT, Thompson was named athletic director for Middle Creek in 2005.
Thompson is the 18th teacher arrest in 2020 tracked by this website.