Former North Carolina Teacher Gets 31 Years in Prison for Sex Crimes

Former NC teacher of the year pleads guilty to child sex crime charges
New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office

A North Carolina high school science teacher pleaded guilty Tuesday to nearly 60 sex charges and was sentenced to 31 years in prison for his crimes.

The Daily Mail reported that authorities arrested Michael Earl Kelly, 50, in February 2018 and charged him with 59 sex crimes against children— including exposing his penis to minors and other explicit videos to his victims.

One of the victims told investigators he had a Snapchat group where he was a member along with other students and allegedly encouraged students to share pictures of their private parts.

The most serious charge, to which he pleaded guilty, was having sex with a minor under the age of 16.

Kelly, who has been behind bars since his initial February 2018 arrest, used to teach science at Isaac Bear Early College High School.

Investigators started looking into Kelly after a parent relayed the inappropriate text messages between their child and Kelly to the authorities, WECT reported.

Authorities say Kelly had abused 19 victims— with some cases dating back to 2003 and with some victims as young as 14 years old.

The Associated Press reported that the New Hanover County Board of Education fired him and banned him from teaching at all schools in the district in March 2018, shortly after his February 2018 arrest.

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