Life imprisonment for teacher who molested students in 1970s – 80s
U.S. / Statesville – John Thomas Patterson Jr., a former fourth-grade teacher at Mt. Mourne Elementary School, has been sentenced to life imprisonment. He was convicted of more than 170 counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor and one count of first-degree sexual offense for molesting his students between the 1970s and 1980s. He is now 66 years old.
Patterson began teaching at Mount Mourne Elementary School in 1970 and never taught anywhere else. He did not teach elsewhere after his resignation.
Allegations by a student against Patterson first arose in 1987. It led to his resignation but no criminal charges were effected back then. The student is now 34 years old, and he is one of the witnesses at the trial. He was a fourth-grader Mt. Mourne Elementary School in 1986-87.
Patterson was arrested in 2013. Investigators said the charges stemmed from a five-month investigation after an individual reported to the Sheriff’s Office and information that Patterson had molested several children. The jury found Patterson guilty on every of the 173 charges for fondling 10-year-old students during his time as a fourth-grade teacher.
Many individuals who testified related the incidents have affected their lives. More than a dozen men who claimed to have been sexually abused testified during the trial.