Monday, March 4, 2024

Search warrants detail alleged sex act by former band teacher with NHC middle schooler [Free read]

Peter Michael Frank, 47. (Port City Daily photo / New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office)

This article initially appeared online at WECT. It is being republished with permission. You can find the original version here.

WILMINGTON (WECT) — WECT has obtained search warrants that appear to detail the crimes against a seventh victim in the Peter Frank case. Frank, who worked as a band teacher at Roland Grise Middle School before being fired last month, is in jail accused of multiple sex crimes against his former students.

*Warning: This story contains graphic details about the investigation*

While investigating six other apparent victims who were students of Franks between 2003 and 2019, detectives became aware of a seventh student who was involved with Frank in 1999. After interviewing this seventh person, she “informed detectives she had a relationship with Peter Frank, who was her band instructor, while she was in middle school at Roland Grise,” according to the search warrant.

“[The victim] informed detectives on several occasions Peter Frank performed oral sex on her in the band room at Roland Grise Middle School,” the search warrant continues. It notes that Frank and the student exchanged gifts and used a pseudonym “Marty” for Frank when they corresponded so people wouldn’t know who she was talking to.

The search warrant indicates that on Jan. 29, 2020, investigators received an anonymous tip that Frank would buy “concert tickets, play tickets and movie tickets to alibi his whereabouts while he was alone with students.”

Based on the fact that investigators found mementos from Frank’s relationships with other students, detectives requested an additional search warrant to look for more evidence-based on their new leads. An evidence voucher attached to the search warrant indicates detectives seized yearbooks, permission forms for students to practice while on school break, and CDs from the Roland Grise band office.

A second search warrant for Frank’s home, based on the same reasons for probable cause, resulted in the seizure of many more items.

Detectives seized a video recorder, two XBOXs, a tablet, a laptop, a digital camera, two cell phones, yearbooks, handwritten and printed letters, ticket stubs, CDs, DVDs, photos, and a key. In addition, investigators took a tie from Frank’s closet with musical notes on it, fitting the description of the tie one of the victims said she gave Frank as a gift. They also seized several nude photos in a cardboard envelope in a bedroom in the home. There was no indication if those pictures were of students.

The newly-obtained warrants were executed by the New Hanover County Sheriff’s office on Feb. 4, three days before Superintendent Tim Markley resigned on Feb. 7.

These documents join others that detail how Frank was counseled by the school system for inappropriate relationships with students in incidents dating back to 1997.

Peter Frank was fired on Feb. 15, about two weeks after he was originally arrested by the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office. As of publication he remains in jail under a $850,000 bond (recently increased from $750,000).

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