New developments in sex crimes case against teacher Mike Kelly

New developments in sex crimes case against teacher Mike Kelly
Michael Kelly

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - A former New Hanover County teacher arrested for sex crimes against his students had a court date on Monday.

Michael Kelly's latest administrative hearing follows his formal indictment in July. Prosecutors expect more significant developments in the case could happen in the next couple of months. It will likely involve a plea or an arraignment. If Kelly is arraigned, the case will be scheduled for trial.

Kelly was working as a high school science teacher at Isaac Bear Early College High School when he was arrested in February after a suspicious parent alerted authorities about inappropriate text messages they found between their child and Kelly.

Kelly is facing more than 50 charges involving more than a dozen victims. Some charges date back to 2003, around the same time a parent filed a complaint with school officials about Kelly's behavior with students at Laney High School.

The criminal charges against Kelly range from indecent liberties with a child to sexual exploitation of a minor. Some of the victims are as young as 14.

The mother of one of Kelly’s former students told WECT in February that she went directly to Kelly with her concerns about his behavior with students in 2003 before going to then-Laney principal Dr. Rick Holliday.

After feeling she was not getting anywhere, Caroline Kuebler said she filed a formal written complaint with New Hanover County Schools' central office in January 2004.

NHCS spokeswoman Valita Quattlebaum wrote in an email to WECT on Feb. 8 that, "in reference to Michael Kelly, there were no dismissal, suspension, or demotion for disciplinary reasons until this recent incident. No complaints received in the Division of Human Resources prior to this recent incident."

Kelly was fired from his job as a science teacher at Isaac Bear by the New Hanover County Board of Education last spring.

He was in the New Hanover County Jail under a $2 million bond at last check.

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