Former teacher William Richard Pryor is now in federal custody charged with transportation of minors with intent of sexual activity. (Photo source: Stone Co. Correctional Facility)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -
A South Mississippi teacher has admitted to investigators that he molested at least eight boys who were his students, and the abuse spanned a period of 20 years. That's according to an affidavit released Thursday.
William Richard Pryor, 68, is in federal custody charged with transportation of minors with intent of sexual activity.
WARNING: This story contains explicit details that may be offensive to some readers.
According to the affidavit, Pryor confirmed to FBI investigators that the allegations of molestation by two different victims are true. Pryor also identified six other victims, and gave the FBI details about when and where he sexually abused them.
The affidavit details interviews with two different victims, who are making the molestation allegations.
According to the FBI report, Victim #1 was interviewed on August 18, and told investigators he was molested by his Bayou View Junior High School math teacher, William Richard Pryor. The alleged molestation took place from 1973 to 1975 while the victim was a student at that school. Victim #1 said he would take summer trips organized by Pryor, and it was on these trips that the sexual abuse would happen.
One day later, the FBI spoke to Victim #2, who told a similar story of molestation by Pryor in 1999 and 2000. Again, the victim said he was a student of Pryor's at Bayou View Junior High when the abuse occurred. According to the affidavit, Victim #2 told investigators that "the molestation consisted of Pryor touching his penis and masturbating him." Victim #2 told investigators the molestation happened on at least five separate occasions in Louisiana.
That same day, FBI agents interviewed Pryor at St. Patrick High School, where he was working as a math teacher. He has since resigned from the school. Pryor gave the agents a voluntary statement where to confessed to molesting eight children between the mid-70s and ending in 2005, during his time as a teacher at Bayou View Junior High School. Pryor said his victims were between 13 and 14 years old.
In their report, investigators said Pryor confirmed the allegations by the two victims, and gave details about other abuse that happened during out of state trips in 1996, 2004, 2005. He also mentioned two molestations that occurred in the 80s, and one from the 90s that happened in Gulfport.
Most of the alleged abuse happened during trips Pryor took with the students to California, Montana, Colorado, Oregon, and Georgia.
Catholic Diocese of Biloxi Superintendent Dr. Mike Ladner said Pryor resigned after FBI agents escorted Pryor off campus.
Before working at St. Patrick High, Dr. Ladner said he worked at St. John High School. Gulfport Schools Superintendent Glenn East said Pryor worked at Bayou View Middle School until retiring from that school district in 2004.
Dr. Ladner said Pryor has been a teacher in South Mississippi for more than 40 years.
At this time Dr. Ladner and the principal of St. Patrick, Renee McDaniel, do not believe Pryor had any inappropriate relationships with students while employed for the Catholic Diocese.
"The agent did share with Ms. McDaniel that he really didn't believe he had any illicit interaction with any of our students from St. John, from the time he was at St. John through his time at St. Patrick," Dr. Michael Ladner told WLOX News. "He did tell Ms. McDaniel that when they met and the agent kind of said he had been forthright with them in a lot of other areas and believed he was telling the truth."
Pryor was appointed a public defender, and a detention hearing was set for Tuesday at 2:30pm. If found guilty, Pryor faces 10 years to life in prison.
If you have any information about this ongoing investigation you are asked to call the FBI Gulfport Office at 228-864-6131.
William Richard Pryor was most recently employed as a math teacher at St. Patrick High School. We are hearing from parents about the way St. Patrick school administrators handled Pryor's recent arrest. More >>
According to court documents, William Richard Pryor confessed to FBI agents he molested eight male students between 1973 and 2005 when he was employed at Bayou View Middle School. The 68-year-old was most recently employed as a math teacher at St. Patrick High School. We are hearing from parents about the way St. Patrick school administrators handled Pryor's recent resignation.More >>