A 27-year old former Montezuma High School english teacher faces a long list of child-sex charges. Charges against Derek Bates include four counts of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation and indecent contact with a child. Court records show the alleged victims are 12 and 13 years old.
What makes parents here in this small community even more upset, Bates is a home-town boy, born and raised in Montezuma. He even graduated from the high school. Neighbors say Bates often spent time with young boys in his garage, but they figured he was just exercising with the kids.
“Just in that white shed back there I seen him walking through the alley with like a boombox or I think a laptop a couple times and gym shorts, you know, like they were working out or something and I thought that was kinda odd to see an older gentleman with some younger junior high kids walking into an enclosed shed.” says neighbor Jessi Scobee.
Bates quit his job at the high school last year after admitting to drinking whiskey with a 17-year old in a classroom. If convicted on all the charges he’s facing, Bates could be sentenced to up to 65 years in prison.