32 Comments for this article

Tags: , , , ,


LELAND, NC (WWAY) – We learned today that the North Brunswick High School Band Director charged over the weekend with “sexting” a student sued three other students in 2008 for “forking.”

Mark Riel sued Noah K. Gotsch, Ethan C. Davis and Benjamin A.G. Lockyear in superior court, claiming the three “persecuted, harassed, intimidated and threatened” him.

In court documents, he says the three put more than 400 plastic forks and numerous parking cones in his yard in late 2007. He says they also caused him “severe stress, anxiety and mental anguish” when they used Riel’s name to subscribe him to a number of online magazines, books and junk mail.

Riel says he had to spend hours a day away from his wife and child contacting the companies to clear his name and credit and had gotten bills for more than $1,000 due to the subscriptions.

The suit requested an injunction against the three boys, for punitive damages of an unknown amount for emotional mental and physical stress and distress, for damage caused to his property and for legal fees.

An injunction was granted, but for only a year. The boys promised never to sign Riel up for any more subscriptions or mailings and said they would stay away from him.

Comment on this Story

  • Scott Pickey


    I’m not that creative. Trust me.

    In fact, the term comes from the Complaint and Motion for Injunctive Relief paperwork – page #2 – item no. 16, which says, “That the actions of the Defendants in harassing and intimidating Riel and vandalizing of his property have resulted in the physical invasion of Riel’s home and property by ‘forking’ the Riel’s property.

    If you have a concern with the term, I would suggest contacting Mr. Riel’s attorney – Christopher J. Skinner of Crossley, McIntosh and Collier at 910 / 762.9711.

    Scott Pickey
    WWAY News Director

  • Guest

    Nicely said Scott,…I’ve often heard that “spooning leads to forking”…

  • Guest

    so is he innocent?

  • Guest

    Mark Riel is a great person, and to accuse him of something like this is unbelievable…..He cares about his students, his family and his friends way to much to have done something like this.

  • Guest

    One of the boys countersued him, and Riel dismissed his case! Ethan C. Davis countersued him for “intentional infliction of emotional distress”.

  • Guest

    I would hope that text records were pulled prior to arrest. Riel has a bad history of trying to “befriend” the students. He has landed himself in legal battles over trying to befriend his students in the past. He was actually countersued by a student, then Riel decided it was within his best interest to dismiss his law suit. Ironically, these 3 boys were never charged criminally. Now, if they had done something wrong, I feel confident that Riel would have taken out criminal charges on them. Just because you do not like a student is no reason to accuse them of wrong doing and attempt to financially gain from a law suit. This is news worthy because Riel is a BULLY, and when the students showed no fear of his “bullying”….. he attempted to sue them!

  • Guest

    If the students were minors, then a criminal charge would have been sealed when they got older. Infact, it probally would have been handled as a community service type punishment. However, obviously, it was never proven that these children were the culprits. A civil suit would not hurt, harm, or teach the children a lesson, as they do not have any money, and a lein would have been placed on them affecting thier credit. We do not know what thier parents’ thought process was on this matter, or what Mark Riel did to provoke the alleged. I am sure there is more than one side to this story, yet the bottom line is this: 1. The children were not arrested for criminal activity 2. One student filed suit against Mark Riel 3. Mark Reil decided to drop the suit when he learned that he was being sued Now, this being factual, I wander exactly what the student counter sued for? I wander why he dropped the suit? AND, the media has not mentioned if this student he was “sexting” was a female OR a male. Also, everyone is talking about “proof”….I am pretty sure that the police will be able to identify body parts when doing a comparison to the phone texts, and Mark Riel.

  • Guest


  • Guest

    Riel is no bully! He runs North’s Marching band with honor. Many students hate school because they go there to just learn, go home and do the same thing over and over. Why do you think so many people are in band? Because it’s fun. If they had a mean,evil teacher, there wouldn’t be as many! Riel becomes friends with his students,to teach them about things like these later in life and so they can grow as a person. He has influenced many people’s lives. He is a brillient person with enough common sense to not even think about “sexting” someone. As for the forking incident, it happened in 2007, get over it. And how does befriending his students have to do with three ignorant, revenge seeking boys going to his house,putting plastic forks in his yard (which is dumb) including traffic cones, and subscibing him to magazines? It sounds like they are bullying him. Coming to the place where his wife and young child live, to do something so stupid! To call him a bully is very insulting!

  • Guest

    Perhaps you should go pull the band records. See exactly how many band members sign up, then drop out. As far as the “ignorant” three, … do your research. National Honor Society students were ACCUSED of this. They were never arrested, because there was no proof. Yes, befriending students should not be done! There is a fine line in a leader and a friend. You confide in a friend, you respect a leader. It makes me wander if this is how he “befriends” and mentor students….by sending them provocative material via text? Maybe he has not “bullied” you, but please know your facts prior to posting. Riel was countersued, and then he decided to drop his suit. If he was so sure and positive of the alleged actions of the CHILDREN, then why didn’t he pursue it?

  • Guest

    For him to be called a BULLY is insulting? I’d much rather be called a bully than a pervert or child molestor!!!

  • Guest

    Well said!!!!

  • Guest

    Have you considered that handling this as a civil suit, rather than as a criminal case, was likely the most humane way to hold these students accountable and to invoke a response from their parents? A civil suit would not hurt them on a college or job application, as would a conviction for harrassment. I suspect the forks in the yard were not the primary issue and there is more than one side to the story, even though we are lead to believe otherwise. I know Mark Riel and have seen the good that he has done. Please don’t jump to conclusions based on accusations and inflammatory comments.

  • Guest 54545

    The reason the three boys were not arrested is because the crime did not meet the elements of property damage but did meet the criteria for a civil suit. Apparently you don’t have a clue as to the law. The three that were accused did confess to the FORKING and even were caught on video at Wal Mart of Leland buying all the plastic forks Wal Mart had on in stock that very night. So do you feel stupid now? Don’t speak and then find out the truth. Find out the truth first!

  • Guest

    No, the 3 boys did NOT admit to it. I know first hand what I am talking about….and the hilarious circus act that the Leland PD did in the investigation was humorous. So, if the “forking” did not meet the elements of a crime, there was no crime, correct? Yes, there was tape of them buying “forks” at Walmart….. does this mean they did it? Nice to know that our tax dollars are going towards backwoods police officers who have nothing better to do than pull tape at Walmart against a bunch of kids who …as you stated…did NOT commit a crime. So, YOU find out the “truth” first! And…. since you seem to know so much, WHY did Riel drop the law suit when one child countersued? Have you read that? Probably not! So, YOU find out the truth first before you make yourself look stupid again. :O)

  • Guest

    I did do some investigating, and one young man is stationed in Texas with the US Military now. Another one accused of “forking” is a Christian Missionary in Mexico. The third one is enrolled in college. These children are apparently making this world a better place by helping spread the word of God, fighting for our country, and educating themselves. Where is Mr. Riel?…. he is about to be a registered sex offender, and possibly be in jail! The only thing that I know, is that these “kids” are in a much better place than this nasty nasty nasty dirty creepy man is!!

  • Guest

    No harm was done from this prank. Atleast the students did not hurt him or damage property. Friends play pranks on friends. If he was trying to be friends with his students, he needs to keep in mind that they are still immature children. I don’t know the man, but it sounds like he acts and thinks like a child.

  • KrisC

    This kind of warped behavior by students goes on all the time. Administrators turn a blind eye to any and all of it. If you can’t take it, bad. I had serious outright lies told about me constantly, accused of hitting, etc., when I wouldn’t hurt a fly. Curiously, they seem to attack arts teachers. I stood up to the bullies for 25 years. It took a terrible toll on me. I will never walk in a school again as long as I live and I’m sorry I am forced to pay taxes to support bullies that go unpunished.

  • Guest

    They’re trying to make a f-word joke since it’s about sexting….get it? Forking!?!?!?!?!?!?!? HAHAHAHAHAHAH HAHAHAH HAHAH HAHAHAH [/obnoxious laugh]. WWAYs sensationalistic style of journalism is really starting to makie them look really awful in Wilmington.

  • Guest

    I’m sorry. What about this story makes it newsworthy? And what the h**l is “forking”. I’m assuming it’s a WWAY terminology??? I have never heard of that! And how does this relate to the charges that Mr. Riel is facing? Apparently there was no news in Wilmington to report today so WWAY felt they needed to report more news about a man who has been “ACCUSED” of sexting. (Remember…innocent until proven guilty.) What’s next? Are you going to report on what he has for dinner? Or that he just brought groceries? Who cares. Your style of news reporting is shameless and truly an embarrassemnt to the community.

  • Guest

    Forking is actually a real (albeit slang) term for sticking plastic forks in someone’s yard. A prank – similar to toilet papering their house / yard. WWAY didn’t make the word up, and it’s not a joke about “the f-word” as someone else mentioned, but I feel it’s relevant to the case because he has some history of legal woes with other students. Perhaps this “sexting” thing is just another prank that has gotten out of hand and now no one is stepping forward to set the record straight.

  • Guest7969

    it shows that he might have been framed and that the charges are false….I mean..give me your phone number and I’ll send you a dirty message from a porn star with HER number…it’s easy

  • concernedcitizen77

    Well the Leland Police department took the time to look at surveillance tapes of teenagers buying forks from Walmart, so why NOT report on the groceries he bought. Oh yeah, and he plead GUILTY.

  • Das Weibstück

    Spooning leads to forking.

  • OH MY!!! LMAO!!!!

  • Guest

    Sometimes you make me so mad, I just want to fork you!

  • 666

    Sounds like this guy is a wussie, who has no control over his students.

  • 7 7 7

    Seriously, you must be a fool. What teacher has “control” over students in this age. If you were to “control” them, you’d be fired. There is no control in public schools anymore, and no way to enforce discipline. Sure, send some deputies. Big deal, what do they do? Nothing in the classroom where it matters. Just keep taking my tax money NC, and pouring it down the drain, facilitating equality and fairness. Blow off. I could care less about that, I want my money’s worth, and I’m not getting it.

  • Guest1111

    Great prank

  • Guest461

    …who post on here that laugh at ignorance. It must be a cascading affliction…

  • ConcernedCitizen77

    It was really nice of all of you who defended him and were sure he never would have done something like this. But he plead guilty. Sorry he dissapointed so many people who loved him.

  • NBHSstudent

    He was upset because he had to spend time away from his wife and child, but found the time to be sexting with a student?


Related News