Local News

Moore County Judge Turns Down Suspect's Plea In Statutory Rape Case

Posted June 25, 2003 4:09 a.m. EDT

— A judge in Moore County Superior Court refused to allow a Raeford man facing 10 counts of statutory rape to "plea down" Tuesday.

Robert Myles Pond, 49, was prepared to plead guilty to a lesser charge that would make him a registered sex offender but keep him from serving jail time. But Judge Douglas Albright said allowing the move wouldn't be "provident."

Pond is accused of having at least a year-long consensual relationship with a girl who was part of a class he taught for high-school credit from his home, a horse farm in Raeford.

The girl was 14 at the time. Her parents had sent her to Pond's Mountain Creek Horse Farm for horseback riding lessons. She obtained high-school credit for the class from Calvary Christian School.

According to police reports, the relationship Pond is accused of having with the young girl began in 1999. He was arrested and charged in August 2002.