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Retired NC elementary school teacher sentenced to life for molesting students in 1970s, '80s

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STATESVILLE, North Carolina — A former North Carolina fourth-grade teacher will spend the rest of his life in prison after being convicted of molesting students dozens of times in the 1970s and 1980s.

An Iredell County jury on Friday found 66-year-old John Thomas Patterson of Mooresville guilty on dozens of counts of molesting students at the former Mount Mourne Elementary School. All but one charge was for indecent liberties.

Judge Richard Boner sentenced Patterson to life in prison for one count of first-degree sexual offense and an additional three years on each of the rest.

Eleven men in their 30s and 40s testified about how Patterson molested them as children.

Patterson resigned from the Mooresville school after a parent complained her son had been sexually molested. Police investigated the complaint but never filed charges.

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