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Popular Teacher an Accused Sexual Predator

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Bill Bates, Accused Sexual Predator
DUNN — Neighbors say he is a respected community member and a well-liked middlehigh school teacher. Dunn Police say he is a sexual predator.

An investigation that lasted several weeks could turn up charges that goback several years and involve several victims. Bill Bates, a historyteacher, at Pine Forest Middle School in Cumberland County is charged withseveral sex crimes involving a 6-year-old girl. Bates live in Dunn, andso does the alleged victim. Police expect more charges to follow.

Fifty-three-year-old Bill Bates is charged with first degree statutory sexoffense, first degree statutory rape, and taking indecent liberties with aminor. He is not charged with anything involving his own students. WRALtried to get his side of the story from relatives at his home in Dunn.But as of this report, they have no comment.

Police think Bates is a child predator, and they believe there are othervictims they haven't heard from. Police are interviewing people Bates mayhave come into contact with when they were between the ages of 6 - 13 overthe past 17 years.

Investigator Alyson Bunker hopes thatthis report will encourage others to speak up. Bunker says there are notime restrictions and no statute of limitations. Dunn Police believeBates' crimes span over a number of years.

Bates' next door neighbor told WRAL'sMark RobertsBates is a good man andgood neighbor. That neighbor confessed to being very shocked over theallegations.

Bates is being held under $100,000 bond in the Harnett County Jail. TheCumberland County Schools were made aware of the charges against BatesThursday. They say Bates will be suspended without pay pending aninvestigation.

If you have any information to offer about this case, you are urged tocall Dunn police.

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