North Carolina principal accused of raping 12-year-old student found dead

A North Carolina principal accused of raping a 12-year-old student was found dead Friday of a self-inflicted injury, police said.

Richard Omar Knight, the principal of Dillard Academy Charter School in Goldsboro, N.C., was found in a wooded area with a self-inflicted injury, the Goldsboro Police Department said. The 35-year-old man’s body was discovered by a couple of hunters, The News & Observer reported.

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“The hunters’ deer cameras recorded Mr. Knight in the wooded area at approximately 12:36 a.m. on Friday morning. He is alone in the video and appears to be carrying a blanket. Further investigation led to the discovery of Mr. Knight’s Chevrolet Cruze at a Petro Mart on Buckhorn Road. No foul play is suspected in connection with Mr. Knight’s death,” the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

An autopsy will be performed, authorities said.

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Knight was charged with statutory rape and a sex act and indecent liberties with a female student at the school, an arrest warrant stated. Officers responded to a “sexual assault call” at the school on Nov. 15, a statement from the police stated.

Knight was suspended from his job at the charter school, and an investigation into the incident was ongoing.

An interim principal was put in place and gave students and staff a half-day on Tuesday, WRAL reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.