Ex-grade school teacher faces sex charges

April 3, 2013 at 1:56 PM

MOORESVILLE, N.C., April 3 (UPI) -- A former North Carolina elementary school teacher faces 208 sex-offense charges -- 97 of which were added this week to an existing 111 charges, officials said.

A now-total of 14 former students have accused John Thomas Patterson, 65, of Mooresville, of molesting them while he was a fourth-grade teacher at Mount Mourne Elementary School between 1978 and 1987, when he resigned, the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer reported Wednesday.

Major Darren Campbell of the Iredell County sheriff's office said Patterson faces 207 counts of indecent liberties with children and one count of first-degree sex offense.

A former student came to detectives in October accusing Patterson of sexual abuse. Patterson was charged in February with 14 counts of indecent liberties with four or five former students, Campbell said.

But more former students came forward and 97 more counts were filed against Patterson on Feb. 28, the Observer reported.

Sheriff Philip Redmond said, "Most of the incidents occurred in the classroom, although there were some occasions that the abuse occurred outside the classroom," adding that most of the students who have leveled allegations are male.

Patterson was arrested and is being held on a $700,000 bond.

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