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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.


Comment on this Story

  • Poor children

    His wife is a wonderful person no aim not a family member but I know both of them she just had a new baby when all of this happened I would have never dreamed this from mark no I don’t think he will ever do this again it was all a mistake on both sides but you can’t say anything bad about his wife she has a way better career than he had and can raise their kids right on her own without his help and there isn’t alot of women out there that can do that without being on dss but this woman can do it right by herself and she is doing it he is very sweet and well like so leave her alone she has been through enough.

  • Guestknowitall

    I bet he was a good teacher…. apparently in band and anatomy! “I want to kiss every inch of your body”… yuck! gross! creepy old pervert! If he was innocent, he would have taken it to trial! He would never of accepted a felony as a plea if he was innocent.

  • Guestknowitall

    Let me just throw this out here….. HOW do you think HE met his wife??? …. She was a student at the school he taught at!!!! This man is gross, and doesn’t know when enough is enough. I do not know his wife or kids, but I do know that as a MOTHER, I feel sorry for this woman. She did not ask for this. Also, Reil has a LOOONG legal history of mingling with students…even going as far as to TRY to sue some of them!

  • Guest2910

    she was definitely 18 tho during the second time so thats some bs

  • Grand Ole Party

    So it’s okay for you to judge her and call her a home wrecker? Guess you feel pretty Godly. Moron!

  • Guest758

    Disgusting that anyone would defend this man. He was supposed to be the responsible adult. He should have done jail time. What he did hurts the credibility of teachers every where!!

  • Guest85567

    Every kid in NBHS band knows exactly who that student is. As a parent of a student that is in that band, I know what my child knows. Mistakes happen? Yes they do. DUI?, mistake. Car wreck?, mistake. Cheat on your spouse
    with another adult?, big mistake. Teacher, or any adult for that matter trying to seduce a child? Not a mistake. It is simply a major crime on many levels.
    Whether that kid tried to initiate something, or not is absolutely irrelevant. A normal adult would not do anything that could be even remotely construed as having that type of interest in a child / student / whatever label you want to place on her.

  • guesty

    Sorry, criminal behavior isn’t a mistake, it is a choice. It doesn’t matter how low of a place a person is in, a crime is a crime no matter how you try to sugarcoat it.

  • Guestnhc

    Wow you know a awful lot about this girl, maybe you are this girl!!! If so you should be ashamed you are a homewrecker! There are many of us in this community who have known this man for years and we know this is not a pattern. Maybe he likes them young? Get real! Sometimes people find themselves in very low places in their lives and they make mistakes, some are even are held accountable for their mistakes! No matter how much good you do or how many lives you impact in a positive way there are always those who feel godly and believe they have the right to judge……..

  • Guest910

    hmmmmm…..sounds like this comment may be from a bitter wife or family member of hers. Why would one say for his children’s sake stop defending him? Wouldn’t anyone with compassion want him to be defended for his kids sake? Nor does anyone know what the wife was like behind closed doors…..

  • Guest57775

    Your math is incorrect. She turned 19 on december 9 2011. Given that the texting began in May 2010, she was 17 – a minor child – when this all began. So, I know quite a bit about this. Even now, at age 19, she still looks like she could pass as a 14 year old. “Little Marky” definitely must like them young.

  • Guest654

    Read the details guys, although some seem to have been dropped in ‘editing’ this story. It said in an earlier version that what he plead to was the same level as what he was charged with, in exchange for not having to register he plead to two felonies he was only charged with one. My guess is that doubled his probation time. I would imagine that a condition of his probation is not teaching. Plus every job ap you file asks about felonies. He’ll have to explain that for the rest of his life.

    Given what some are saying about the culpability of the student and her not being a minor it seems like a good deal for both sides.

  • Guest1

    All this talk about this man’s “career” being ruined and the girl being the victim makes me sick. What about the real victims here? His wife and children who’s lives have been destroyed by the actions of 2 irresponsible people. Both Riel and the girl are to blame. Yes she was a child but she knew right from wrong. This is not the first time this man has done this. It won’t be the last. The real story has not come out and I pray for Mr. Riel’s children and wife that it never does. Let his family have some peace and please stop with the speculation. I understand there are those who idolize this man but you have no clue what this man was like behind closed doors. For his children’s sake please move on and stop defending him or the girl.

  • Member of the community

    People of the community, I’m not saying what he did was right i’m just saying it would not have gotten that far if the 18 year old girl who is supposedly a “victim” in all of this would have went and told a teacher that the band teacher was trying to come on to her. Also this would’nt of all happened if that 18 year old girl had of kept her number to herself, so all in all yes what the band teacher did was totally wrong but people should also blame the “Victim” too!!!!

  • Guest910

    Apparently you don’t know much about this case, she’s 19 now!

  • Guest75544

    Actually, she was a minor when this started. She is 18 now, and was 17 when the texting started in May 2010. Regardless of age, she was a student until this past spring. The law he was charged with, and managed to get the charge dropped for doesn’t address a student’s age. Reason: an instructor is a figure of authority. A teacher can induce a student to do things they would not otherwise do.
    As a Minor / child when this began, remember that children do things that they shouldn’t. Regardless of what might be considered “leading”, “flirting”, playing with fire, or whatever it’s called…. The key words are child, and student. Someone as smart as he, and with his education and experience should have dealt with it appropriately. Best possible way would have been to get it on record instead of him letting “little marky” totally override all of big Mark’s decisions.

  • Guest 1662

    are YOU kidding ME? Rape? I am extremly sympathetic to rape victims because they do not ask for what happens to them. This girl knew exactly what she was doing and is not in any way a victim.

  • Guest1661

    Are you kidding??

    Are you also going to blame a rape victim because she was wearing a sweater that was too tight?

  • facts

    For your information the student was not a minor, she was 18. Make this girl accountable for her actions. She knows what she did was wrong. Now she has to live with the fact that she is partly responsible for destroying this mans career and everything he has worked for. I don’t feel bad for her at all. I feel putting him on the sexual registry is extreme for what he did. He lost his career and he has to pay for that the rest of his life.

  • studen

    get off your high horse before you spout off at the mouth. The girl is 18 and that my friend is not considered a minor!!!

  • stifler

    One time at band camp………

  • student not innocent

    This young woman isn’t exactly innocent. She knew exactly what she was doing! Sure, he is to blame, but she wasn’t bothered by it or she would have reported herself!

  • studen

    I was a students of Mr. Riel’s last year and he was by far the best teacher I have ever had. It’s unfortunate this had to happen and I know the parties involved. I know there is no excuse for what he did but why are there no harsh words for the trampy girl that sent picture of herself and basically stalked him while she was in the band? He took responsibility for his actions and has been trashed in the media and by the public but there has been no word of her. Yeah, he was the teacher and should have known better but come on…think about the kind of girl she must be! Just remember there are two sides to every story and no one has heard from this man yet and only knows the charges and what has been reported. Maybe we should have a sit down with “the victim” and ask her how she followed this man around everywhere. This man was an amazing teacher and tought me how to be the best person I could be. He lost his career over one mistake. Mr. Riel is human and we all make mistakes and to those who judge I’m sure you do too.

  • Guest 2345

    Your comment sounds ridiculous! The student is not the one who committed a crime, so her innocence is not even a factor. Being a minor, the student was protected by the law. Reil is disgusting and got off easy. He should have to register as a sex offender!

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