bill pendergrass

RALEIGH — A former Raleigh and Orange County school band teacher who had statutory rape charges against him dropped last week spent two hours in jail Wednesday after additional charges were brought against him.

Bill Pendergrass, 60, now faces seven counts of taking indecent liberties with a child more than 30 years ago, according to Wake County court records. He initially faced three counts of statutory rape and three counts of taking indecent liberties with a child, the records say.

Pendergrass allegedly had sex with a 15-year-old girl when he was 27 years old between July 1986 and July 1987, according to an arrest warrant.

However, the North Carolina law for statutory rape of someone 15 or younger wasn't in effect then, Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman has said.

So the statutory rape charges were dismissed and Pendergrass's bail was reduced from $1.6 million to $25,000. He bonded out Oct. 7.

Pendergrass was arrested again Wednesday morning and was held on a $75,000 bail after the additional charges were filed. Two hours later, he bonded out again, according to Wake County Detention Center.

Pendergrass was the band director at Ravenscroft School in Raleigh and "was separated from his job" in May, The News & Observer previously reported.

He joined the Orange County school system in August, working at Gravelly Hill Middle School, but was placed on administrative leave the day he was charged.

The school system said Thursday he had resigned from his job.

Ravenscoft and Orange County schools both said they didn't suspect any illegal activity when Pendergrass worked for them, The N&O reported.

There is no statute of limitations on felonies in North Carolina, and alleged sex crimes have been prosecuted more than 25 years later, according to a 2018 UNC School of Government blog post.

(c)2019 The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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