One year later: Peter Frank’s case moves to Bladen County, lawsuit ongoing
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - One year ago, former New Hanover County Schools band teacher Peter Frank was arrested for multiple sexual assault charges against students.
His alleged crimes included multiple counts of indecent liberties with children and students – and he was not the first teacher to be accused of sexual assault against students at New Hanover County.
In fact, Frank was the third employee to be arrested for sex crimes against students in a two-year period.
Frank has been accused of sex crimes dating back as far as 1999 and as recent as 2019.
Since the revelation of his crimes along with others, several top officials within the school system have left including former Superintendent Tim Markley; former Deputy Superintendent Rick Holliday; Assistant superintendent of human resources John Welmers; and former attorney Wayne Bullard.
Frank remains in the New Hanover County jail awaiting trial.
The case has seen several changes in the past year, including a new prosecutor and venue due to a “potential conflict of interest” in the New Hanover County District Attorney’s Office.
While no trial date has been set, the case will eventually be heard in a Bladen County courtroom instead of New Hanover Superior Court.
In addition to the criminal case, the civil case involving some of Frank’s alleged victims remains ongoing.
Martin Ramey, one of the attorneys representing the victims in the lawsuit, said the case is currently in the discovery process.
“Discovery is ongoing in the civil case, and we have had a couple of depositions already, though I can’t discuss those because they’re covered by the protective order. The pending nature of the criminal case just complicates things and access to folks,” he said.
The civil trial could possibly start in early 2022, but a lot has to take place between now and then.
Copyright 2021 WECT. All rights reserved.