Carolina Friends School teacher accused of sexual abuse commits suicide | News | Indy Week
INDY Week's news blog

Archives | RSS

Monday, June 16, 2014

Carolina Friends School teacher accused of sexual abuse commits suicide

Posted by on Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 5:08 PM

The day after Carolina Friends School announced that five former students reported they had been sexually abused as children, one of the alleged perpetrators committed suicide.

Bill Butcher, a former middle school teacher, was accused of sexually abusing a boy in 1976. That boy and four other male students told Carolina Friends School administrators that Harold Jernigan, a former principal, had also abused them.

Butcher still lived in North Carolina; Jernigan lives in New Jersey. Last week, school official said they had reached Butcher, who told them "he did not wish to deny or contradict the allegations and expressed remorse for the anguish and harm he had caused. He has agreed to participate in a reconciliation process, if sought by the former student."

Today, Carolina Friends School officials released this statement:
"In speaking with his niece, who had been unaware of the situation at Carolina Friends School, she asked us to convey her deep sorrow for those who may have been harmed.
"We know that the effects of child sexual abuse are far-reaching for all involved. Also, we are mindful of Bill's expression of deep remorse and desire to contribute to healing. We are sorry for the loss of opportunity for our community and for him to pursue some measure of restorative justice."

No charges have been filed because, according to Orange County law enforcement officials, the statutes at the time—more than 40 years ago—regarded the nature of the incidents as misdemeanors. Although there is no statute of limitations on felonies, in this case, it has expired on 40-year-old misdemeanors.

Tags: , , ,

Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News

  • Dan Forest Says We "Misunderstand" HB 2

    Dan Forest Says We "Misunderstand" HB 2

    "Your question itself shows a misunderstanding of House Bill 2," Forest says.
    • Jul 22, 2016
  • Pat McCrory Has Lost It

    Pat McCrory Has Lost It

    McCrory blames a prominent fighter for LGBT equality for drawing attention to the stupid bill he signed.
    • Jul 22, 2016
  • The Morning Roundup: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

    The Morning Roundup: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

    Also: Hillary Clinton to announce a VP who will not be Elizabeth Warren, the NBA to move the All-Star Game to a city that is not Charlotte, and Black Lives Matter protesters shut down a street in Durham.
    • Jul 22, 2016
  • More »

Twitter Activity


Forest says "We will never value a dollar over a woman's or child's safety and security." Based on that statement …

by Michael Thomas on Charlotte Is Losing the All-Star Game (News)

I'd vote for ralph wiggum before I vote for McCory. In fact, I'd take any character in Springfield over the …

by David 2 on Pat McCrory Has Lost It (News)

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation