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HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (Tribune News Service) — An Army veteran and former junior ROTC instructor at Hopewell High School was arrested Sunday and charged with sex crimes against children, according to Mecklenburg County jail records.

Drayton Gilyard, 47, was charged with one felony count of indecent liberties with a 14-year-old boy and misdemeanor sexual battery, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police records show. The incident happened at a home in south Charlotte.

Gilyard had taught at Hopewell since August 2019, according to his LinkedIn profile. He resigned on Feb. 18 and hasn’t been on the Huntersville campus since Jan. 19, a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools spokesperson told Queen City News on Thursday.

School district officials and CMPD have not said if the victim was a student. CMS did not immediately respond to an Observer request for comment.

Gilyard co-owns Apex Fun Run, a leadership development program for Title I schools based in Columbia, according to his LinkedIn page. His military background dates back to 1994 when he was a non-commissioned officer working as an avionics radar repairman for the Army’s 404th Aviation Support Battalion.

JROTC is short for junior reserve officer training corps, a military-based “character development and citizenship program” for youths.

©2022 The Charlotte Observer.


Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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