Longtime South MS teacher admits to sexual acts with students - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Longtime South MS teacher admits to sexual acts with students

Former teacher William Richard Pryor was most recently employed as a math teacher at St. Patrick High School. (Photo source: St. Patrick High School's website) Former teacher William Richard Pryor was most recently employed as a math teacher at St. Patrick High School. (Photo source: St. Patrick High School's website)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A longtime South Mississippi teacher is now a sex offender in the eyes of the court. Tuesday, William Richard Pryor admitted to two counts of transportation of a minor to engage in sexual activity and travel with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct. Each count involves a different victim.

Before the judge would accept Pryor's plea the prosecution read the evidence they had against Pryor to the court. Ten people sat in the pews of the federal courtroom in Gulfport as the disturbing details were told.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Pryor befriended a male student and acted as a father figure and a mentor to him. He would invite him to his apartment on weekends and that's when the sexual acts reportedly began. 

Pryor started taking this student to Baton Rouge for LSU football games. They would stay in a hotel and they would inappropriately touch each other while looking at Playboy magazines. Pryor told the victim he was "teaching him how to masturbate." The student was 12-years-old when the Baton Rouge trips began. 

The victim was molested by Pryor between 1999 and 2001 while a student at Bayou View. Going into 9th grade, Pryor attempted more sexual acts with the boy and the boy said, "no."

The other count Pryor pleaded guilty to occurred between 2002 to 2005 with another male student at Bayou View.

Pryor started reportedly molesting the second victim when they were on a field trip over the summer to San Diego, California. The prosecution said they inappropriately touched each other in a hotel room. The student also engaged in sexual activity with Pryor during summer trips to Texas and Colorado. 

The victim said often times Pryor gave him porn magazines to look at during their sexual interaction. One time the victim said they had oral sex. When the student was going into the 8th grade, the student denied Pryor's sexual requests.

Pryor admitted to FBI agents he knew what he did was wrong and was able to stop all sexual activity with students in 2013. Pryor also told agents the last physical interaction he had with a student was recently when a student "hugged the hell out of me" and stayed in his room for 20 to 30 minutes.

The prosecution told the court these details were only some of the facts they will present if the case was to go to trial.

The judge then asked Pryor if everything was correct, Pryor and his attorney talked for a minute and then his attorney told the judge Pryor said some of the details are wrong but it does not affect him pleading guilty to the charges.

Pryor plead guilty to two counts, two others involving two other victims were dropped in the plea deal. In the plea Pryor also waived his right to appeal the conviction and the sentence the judge decides for him.

Pryor faces a total of 45 years in prison for the charges and could be placed under supervised release for the rest of his life. Pryor could also be ordered to pay a $500,000 fine and even restitution to the victims.

Pryor will be sentenced on March 2, 2015.

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