Cumberland Teacher Found Guilty on One Charge
Posted February 21, 1999 6:00 a.m. EST
LILLINGTON — A jury in Harnett County has found a Cumberland County teacher guilty of one of the three charges that had been lodged against him in connection with crimes against a six-year-old girl.
Shortly before noon, Bill Bates learned that he was found guilty of taking indecent liberties with a child, but not guilty of first degree statutory rape, and that the jurors deadlocked on first degree statutory sex offense.
Sentencing got under way after a brief recess. Witnesses in his behalf are expected to be called. He could face 13 months in prison on the indecent liberties charge.
Bates, who had been suspended without pay pending the outcome of the trial, was a well-liked teacher at Pine Forest Middle School.
Bates lives in Dunn, and so does the alleged victim, who is now 7 years old.