10 additional victims, 28 new charges in case of teacher's alleged sex crimes

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A New Hanover County high school teacher accused of sexually inappropriate behavior with nearly a dozen of students at his school allegedly performed oral sex on one of them, newly-filed arrest warrants reveal.

**WARNING: THIS STORY CONTAINS GRAPHIC DETAILS***

Warrants state Michael Kelly, 48, a science teacher at Isaac Bear Early College, performed oral sex on the 15-year-old male student "for the purpose of producing material containing a visual representation depicting this activity." The alleged offense occurred sometime between May 10, 2017 and June 20, 2017.

That student is one of 10 new alleged victims in the criminal case against Kelly, who was initially arrested Feb. 6 on charges of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and three counts of indecent liberties with one student.

Late Monday, detectives with the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office filed 28 more felony charges against Kelly. A search warrant obtained earlier Monday described in graphic detail Kelly's alleged crimes.

The youngest of the alleged victims was 13 years old at the time of the alleged offense. Warrants state Kelly "did take and attempt to take immoral, improper, and indecent liberties with (the victim)… for the purpose of arousing and gratifying sexual desire." The offense reportedly occurred between Nov. 1, 2017 and the date of Kelly's arrest.

Kelly showed several of the other students "material containing a visual representation of" the initial victim "holding his erect penis in his hand," warrants allege.

The alleged offenses date as far back as 2013, according to the warrants. As early as 2003, a parent of a student filed a formal complaint about Kelly's behavior, but the parent said her concerns were ignored.

Charges filed Monday against Kelly include:

  • five counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor
  • 14 counts of indecent liberties with a student
  • statutory sex offense with a child 15 year old or younger
  • five counts of indecent liberties with a child
  • first degree sexual exploitation of a minor
  • two counts of solicitation to commit a felony

Kelly's next court date in felony district court is June 7, but prosecutors say the case will likely first go before a grand jury where they expect to indict Kelly on these charges. A sheriff's office spokesperson says more charges could be filed. Kelly remains in the New Hanover County Detention Center under a $1.5 million bond. Kelly is represented by Wilmington attorney, Miriam Thompson.

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