Former Thomson middle school band teacher arrested on sex charges

By: Melissa Tune Email
By: Melissa Tune Email

News 12 at 11 o'clock, February 24, 2010

THOMSON,Ga.-- A former McDuffie County band teacher is not making music --  instead he's facing it. Authorities have now arrested and charged 30 year-old Philip Bradley Pirkle, a former middle school music teacher. Pirkle is charged in connection to an inappropriate relationship with a 14 year-old girl. Investigators say he allegedly engaged in conversation with the teen on the internet over email and a MySpace account.

"It was a student and it involved emails," says Georgia Bureau of Investigations Special Agent Gary Nicholson.

Back in July 2009,  the GBI was contacted by McDuffie County and Thomson authorities to look into Pirkle's alleged involvment with the student. They say he engaged in an inappropriate conversation with the teen on the social site by bantering back and forth in a conversation of a sexual nature. GBI agent Gary Nicholson says emails and other images on Pirkle's siezed computer led to the charges.

"The charges basically involve the emails of an inappropriate nature with a minor and also the possession of child pornography," adds NIcholson.

According to court documents, Pirkle also allegedly admitted to having sex with a student. After he started chatting with the 14 year-old, the teenager's mother told authorities. Pirkle and the girl also alledgely discussed meeting each other for sex.

"There are predators that live on the internet and any child that's using the internet needs to be supervised," says Nicholson.  "Parents need to know what their children are doing."

Pirkle, a former Teacher of the Year, was the Band Director at Thomson Middle School for many years. When the allegations surfaced last summer,he resigned from his position. It was two weeks before the current school year started.
  
In addition, Agent Nicholson says the GBI Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force checked Pirkle's computer and found disturbing images of children.

"We have one section in Atlanta who is solely devoted to child pornography and they assisted us in this matter," adds the Agent.
 

The pictures that the agents found may represent potential victims. Nicholson says it is unclear if any of the pictures are of local students.

 "We have no reason to believe right now that they're children right here in the community but it's something we do have to look into," says Nicholson.

Pirkle has been charged with one count of possession of child pornography and one count of using a computer to entice a child for indecent purposes.

 

News 12 at 11 o'clock, February 24, 2010

THOMSON,Ga.-- A former McDuffie County band teacher is not making music -- instead he's facing it. Authorities have now arrested and charged 30 year-old Philip Bradley Pirkle, a former middle school music teacher. Pirkle is charged in connection to an inappropriate relationship with a 14 year-old girl. Investigators say he allegedly engaged in conversation with the teen on the internet over email and a MySpace account.

"It was a student and it involved emails," says Georgia Bureau of Investigations Special Agent Gary Nicholson.

Back in July 2009, the GBI was contacted by McDuffie County and Thomson authorities to look into Pirkle's alleged involvment with the student. They say he engaged in an inappropriate conversation with the teen on the social site by bantering back and forth in a conversation of a sexual nature. GBI agent Gary Nicholson says emails and other images on Pirkle's siezed computer led to the charges.

"The charges basically involve the emails of an inappropriate nature with a minor and also the possession of child pornography," adds NIcholson.

According to court documents, Pirkle also allegedly admitted to having sex with a student. After he started chatting with the 14 year-old, the teenager's mother told authorities. Pirkle and the girl also alledgely discussed meeting each other for sex.

"There are predators that live on the internet and any child that's using the internet needs to be supervised," says Nicholson. "Parents need to know what their children are doing."

Pirkle, a former Teacher of the Year, was the Band Director at Thomson Middle School for many years. When the allegations surfaced last summer,he resigned from his position. It was two weeks before the current school year started.

In addition, Agent Nicholson says the GBI Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force checked Pirkle's computer and found disturbing images of children.

"We have one section in Atlanta who is solely devoted to child pornography and they assisted us in this matter," adds the Agent.

The pictures that the agents found may represent potential victims. Nicholson says it is unclear if any of the pictures are of local students.

"We have no reason to believe right now that they're children right here in the community but it's something we do have to look into," says Nicholson.

Pirkle has been charged with one count of possession of child pornography and one count of using a computer to entice a child for indecent purposes.


You must be logged in to post comments.

Username:
Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by bobby Location: middletown on Jun 5, 2010 at 10:06 AM
    danielle< are you kidding me? you say the girl knew what she was doing? please this guy should be thrown in jail. hes a complete loser piece of trash. and this is as clean as i will get.
  • by Danielle Location: T-Town on Mar 14, 2010 at 01:00 AM
    Yes i knew Mr. Pirkle. BOTH him and the girl were in the wrong. That girl is 14 she definately knew what she was doing. i dont care what and yes he was the adult in the situation and he could have said no. but because of this incident and this 14 yr old girl just throwing herself out there Mr.Pirkle will now be known as "A sex offender" Mr.Pirkle definitely doesn't deserve that title.He was an excellent teacher i am shocked to see what people say about it when they dont even live in the same county or city as us and like to put their two sense in it they didnt know him so idky they are even saying anything.
  • by John Location: Thomson on Mar 1, 2010 at 02:39 PM
    It's a sad shame. Mr. Pirkle was indeed in the wrong, however, and there's nothing any of us can say to defend him. Once you are no longer a minor, something in your brain should click and let you know that jailbait is jailbait. "Hey! Should I REALLY be messing around with a minor?" As many girls that I've heard taking up for him, I'm sure he would have had no problem charming a woman of age instead of charming a student. I'm sure the young student that he was merely chatting with knew that what she was doing as wrong also. But she's a minor.. the law can't do much with that. The law, however, sure can burn the heck out of anyone 18 ! Sadly, that's just what they're aiming to do to an otherwise nice young gentleman. To Anonymous from Grovetown: If it were my child, I'd spank the heck out of her and Mr. Pirkle would need a restraining order out on me.
  • by Anonymous Location: Grovetown, GA on Feb 25, 2010 at 06:30 PM
    TO SexyMe11: What was stopping him from saying "No" and walking away? What if it were YOUR child? This is a grown man that should have KNOWN better.
  • by Anonymous Location: Thomson on Feb 25, 2010 at 04:27 PM
    I also agree. I have known MR. Pirkle for about 7 years and he has never done anything like that to me or any of my friends. He is not the only one in the wrong but the young ladt is also in the wrong and should get punished. She came to him first
  • by SEXYME11 Location: Thomson on Feb 25, 2010 at 02:46 PM
    As a band student, Mr. Pirkel did no wrong. The young lady however came to him first making comments to him when he is working out. Mr. Pirkel NEVER made any moves on none of my female friends in band. I have known Mr. Pirkel for 6 yrs and all he does is joke around with the students in a nice manner. For anyone that knows Mr. Pirkel, he was the one to keep us children out of trouble in school. He NEVER put his hands on me. This young lady knows what she is doing, and she also should get into trouble for forcing a grown man to come onto her. She was throwing herself out to him. She is also in the wrong.
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 newsroom@wrdw.com Fax: (803) 442-4561
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 85288242 - wrdw.com/a?a=85288242
Gray Television, Inc.