Local News

In Wake of Confession, More Allegations Surface Against Teacher

Posted February 24, 1999

— A Wake County music teacheraccused of taking indecent libertieswith a student is facing more allegations.

Wake Forest Police were notified by school officials Thursday morning that more students have accused Gary Lynn Powell of molesting them.

This comes in addition to the 10-year-old girl at Wake Forest Elementary that Powell has confessed to molesting.

Police say the new students coming forward are also girls, between the ages of nine and 14.

Wake Forest Elementary Principal Craig Matthews says some of the alleged incidents happened after school and some happened during class time.

" ...improper touching, hugging, in that nature," says Matthews.

Earlier this week, Powell, 42, admitted he inappropriately touched a 10-year-old female student at Wake Forest Elementary.

Police say they were suspicious of Powell's quick confession. Now, three more girls from that school, plus one from Wake Forest-Rolesville Middle School say they recall uncomfortable incidents with the teacher.

"There was, I think, some similarities to stories that we've already heard from the first young lady," says Matthews.

As a music teacher, Powell taught at more than one school in Wake County. In fact, during his 15-year tenure withWake County Public Schools, Powell has taught at 15 different schools.

The Wake County Schools did not require background checks of its employees when it hired Powell 15 years ago. Parents say that does not excuse the school system from doing it now.

"I know it has grown so much, but I think we need to back and get the teachers and start now and do those background checks," says parent Diane Smoke.

During his tenure with the school system there were no complaints filed against Powell, who resigned from his job withWake County Schoolson Monday.

On the one charge he has confessed to, Powell has been released on a $1,000 bond.


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