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Ex-teacher at Chapel Hill school found guilty of sex abuse

Eric Grange, a former teacher at a Chapel Hill Montessori school, was found guilty by a jury Wednesday.

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DURHAM, N.C. — A jury Wednesday convicted a former Chapel Hill teacher charged with sexually abusing girls at a Montessori school.

Eric Grange, 45, of 519 Banks St. in Raleigh, was convicted of two counts of statutory first-degree sex offense and eight counts of indecent liberties with a child. Police said the girls were abused at the Montessori Community School in Chapel Hill in 2005 and 2006.

Grange, a French citizen, resigned from the school in June 2006 after authorities questioned him about suspected abuse of students, school officials said. U.S. immigration agents arrested him at Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C., three months later after warrants had been issued in the case.

Six of Grange's victims were expected to testify against him. The prosecution and defense agreed to bar the media from the courtroom to protect the girls and their families.

The case was handled in Durham County Superior Court because Montessori Community School is located in the part of Chapel Hill that lies in Durham County.