An employee of Orange County Schools was arrested Friday morning by Cary police for child sex charges that extend beyond 30 years, according to a report from CBS17.
At 8 a.m. Friday morning, William Thomas Pendergrass III, 60, of Raleigh, was brought into custody by Cary police. The charges for his arrest included three counts of indecent liberties with a child and three counts of statutory rape/sex offense of child 15 or younger. Pendergrass is being held at the Wake County Detention Center under a secured bond of $1.6 million. He was scheduled to appear in court Monday.
Pendergrass was recently hired at Gravelly Hill Middle School in August to serve as the school’s band teacher. In addition to previously teaching at West Cary Middle School, Pendergrass had most recently worked at Ravenscroft School in Raleigh.
According to WRAL, Ravenscroft School spokesperson Jennifer Davis stated Friday that Pendergrass was put on leave in April, and eventually fired in May, due to a complaint received.
“We worked cooperatively with law enforcement, and at the same time, took steps to ensure the safety of our current students by removing this individual’s access to our campus and our students,” Davis said in the statement. “We have notified our community about his arrest and are encouraging anyone with relevant information to immediately contact law enforcement authorities.”
Pendergrass was placed on leave by Orange County Schools Friday and a spokesperson for the school stated the district did not know about the arrest until Friday, according to CBS17.
“The charges do not involve the Orange County Schools or our students, but are based on alleged conduct from years ago outside of the Orange County Schools.”