BOLIVIA, NC (WWAY) — It’s been nearly a year since a former North Brunswick High School band director was accused of sexting a student. Today Mark Riel pleaded guilty.
WWAY was the only media outlet in the courtroom as Riel entered his plea.
Riel pleaded guilty to two charges as part of deal that would not make him register as a sex offender. During today’s hearing we also found out just what led to the former band teachers charges.
Back in January Riel was charged with one count of indecent liberties with a student. Tuesday he pleaded guilty to two charges of disseminating obscenity as part of a plea deal.
Under the obscenity charges riel will not have to register as a sex offender. Had he pleaded guilty to the indecent liberties charge he would have had to register for ten to 30 years. During Monday’s hearing we also learned more about what led to Riel’s charges.
The former band director started texting the victim, identified as a band student, back in May 2010. He was arrested eight months later. During that time the two had conversations via text, and on occasion the victim would send riel picture messages. The pictures did not include any nudity.
This all came to light when a friend of the victim saw her phone had a text conversation with Riel on it. In this text Riel told the victim, “You’re soo sexy. If you really want me to react send me a pic of your legs.” Later in this conversation Riel even told the student, “I want to kiss every inch of you.”
Soon after seeing this conversation the victim’s friend alerted teachers, leading to Riel’s arrest and Tuesday’s guilty plea.
With Riel’s admission of guilt comes a sentence of eight to ten months in jail, which was suspended due to his short criminal record. He will be placed on five years supervised probation and 120 hours of community service.
Even though Riel and this student had a text relationship, the prosecution said it never got physical.
We tried to talk with Riel after court. He respectfully declined, and said he needed time, and would try to contact us in 24 hours.