WRAL Investigates

Teen sex offender banned from high school

Posted November 23, 2010

— A 19-year-old senior at South Johnston High School has been banned from going on school property after school system officials recently learned he was convicted of misdemeanor sexual battery.

James Lawrence, an attorney for Johnston County Schools, said Tuesday that school system officials were unaware that Keith Pressley had been sentenced to 24 months of probation after being found guilty last month of allegations involving a 14-year-old girl.

They became aware of the matter after he was suspended two weeks ago when a girl accused him of touching her on a school bus.

Under North Carolina state law, sex offenders are prohibited from going on school property, but they are allowed to attend school if they have consent from the local school board.

Terri Sessoms, a spokeswoman for Johnston County Schools, said there is no record that Pressley ever asked for permission.

Student privacy laws prevent the school system from commenting further about Pressley’s case, including his student status, she said.

Sex offender teen banned from school Teen sex offender banned from school

But Sessoms said officials and school system attorneys decided Tuesday to limit access after consulting with the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office, State Board of Education and other local school board attorneys on the matter.

Pressley’s aunt and guardian, Priscilla Randolph, said he is not a predator and deserves an education, despite his past.

Randolph said her nephew had been involved with a 14-year-old girl and the girl’s parents reported him to police when they found out.

“He’s just a young guy that got caught up at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Randolph said. “Once he found out that she was as young as she was, he left her alone.”

Department of Correction records indicate that Pressley was convicted in 2008 of a misdemeanor trespassing charge and also convicted last year of possession of stolen goods, also a misdemeanor.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Nov 24, 2010

    Did he know the girl was 14 or 15 or did she tell him she was older.

    Lots of young adult men get in trouble when 14 or 15 year olds girls who look 18 to 20 lie about their age.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Nov 24, 2010

    He's no different than most teenage boys. The difference is that he was caught.

  • blossom3100 Nov 24, 2010

    Hey peppercorns, are you saying this is the same guy or referring to some other person?

  • blossom3100 Nov 24, 2010

    To all those who have doubts about the justice that was served, that it will deny him an education(19, should already be in college), I have this to say. I know the whole story, as I brought it to WRAL's attention after the school and sheriff's department gave me the run around. The problem was that he was convicted and did not learn his lesson. He was going to seat to seat on the bus trying to mess with all the freshman girls(ages 14-15). Not just 1 girl, but at least 4. The reason he got pursued was not for making 1 mistake, it was for making a mistake, not learning from it, and trying to repeat it it seems. He can gets his GED and go to college, just can't go to school where he can prey on young girls.

  • peppercorns Nov 24, 2010

    OH yeah yeah!! for Johnston County Schools...or maybe that is just South Johston High..Because at West Johnston when they were told that it had come to light that at the age of 14 years he had touched a relative WAYYYYYYYY wrong when she was under 10...they did nothing. Parents tried to prosecute but they kept hitting brick walls. guess they didn't want their precious school tarnished..lol

  • COPs eye Nov 24, 2010

    wow wildcat you sure do like to chunk the monkey all over a story...bottom line is he was convicted of a sex offense, girl may or may not have divulged her age, mitigating circumstance, parents did right thing by turning him in, he can be home schooled.

  • genralwayne Nov 24, 2010

    Gee Whiz, Wildcat. Are you the only one here who had perfect, mistake-free and saintly teen years? Teens make mistakes. It's part and parcel of growing up. Some mistakes are worse than others and bear higher costs. It's called life.

  • Nov 24, 2010

    "WOW....3 charges against his record already! 8-30-08 -First Degree Trespassing (Probation), 9-25-08 Possessing Stolen Goods (Probation..again!)and 9-1-10 Sexual Battery (Probation..again!)"

    Looks like a nice start for a career criminal's resume.

  • wildcat Nov 24, 2010


  • wildcat Nov 24, 2010

    and the girl’s parents reported him to police when they found out.

    WOW! so the parents reported him. What are these same parents plan for their daughter? Has she been told about the diseases she can get? What about birth control to prevent unwanted babies? What about her education?
    Do they even care what happens to their daughter? Do they realize she will find herself another older guy? Do your job, and be a parent to your daughers. No one else will.