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ONLY ON 3: Former band teacher pleads guilty to two crimes

BOLIVIA, NC (WWAY) — A former North Brunswick High School band teacher has reached a plea deal with prosecutors that will keep him from having to file as a sex offender. WWAY was the only news media in the courtroom when Mark Riel entered his guilty plea this afternoon.

Prosecutors offered Riel a deal on the count of indecent liberties with a student he was charged with earlier this year after sending an inappropriate text message to a student. Riel passed on the deal.

As his case was set to go to trial at the Brunswick County Courthouse, Riel agreed to plead guilty to two counts of disseminating obscenity. The plea deal includes a sentence of eight to 10 months in jail. That sentence was suspended because of Riel’s short criminal record. Instead he gets five years supervised probation. He does not have to register as a sex offender, which he would have had to do if he was guilty of indecent liberties with a student.

Prosecutors say both indecent liberties with a student and disseminating obscenity are Class I felonies.

We tried to talk with Riel after court. He declined, and said he needed time, and would try to contact us in 24 hours.

Riel resigned his position at North Brunswick High School shortly after his January arrest.

More: continued here

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