The West Charlotte band is known for urban music and dance styles during performances and athletic events. Duncan Gray is the former West Charlotte High School band director and Duncan plead guilty to taking indecent liberties against a 13-year-old student. West Charlotte High School is in Charlotte, NC.
Duncan was employed at Johnson C. Smith University from August 1, 1986 until June 30, 2004 as the Band Director. The university is also in Charlotte, NC. Duncan was the West Charlotte High School band director from 2007-2016.
Now, the abused student has filed a lawsuit against Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools and Duncan Gray in federal court. In 2021 there have been several recent developments in the lawsuit. Maurice Grier is the student that Duncan had indecent liberties with. Maurice is now a grown man and a college graduate.
Maurice says he was assaulted by Duncan several years ago in 2011 when he was a student and band member at West Charlotte High School.
Maurice played trumpet in West Charlotte’s band his freshman year, but in spring of 2011 Duncan told him to switch to French Horn and gave him lengthy after school tutoring.
When giving the student rides home, the lawsuit says, Duncan would touch Maurice's legs and suggest “engaging in homosexual acts with him.”
Maurice says that Duncan touched the student’s genitals during a horn lesson in the band auditorium on West Charlotte's campus, but the sexual touching was interrupted when someone banged on the door.
Maurice went on to graduate and enter college before he came forward to tell what Duncan did to him. Police got involved and Duncan was arrested in April 2016 while he was at church during Sunday service.
Duncan's bail was set at $50,000. The West Charlotte High School Principal at the time was Timisha Barnes-Jones. She sent out this message to parents:
This is principal Barnes-Jones with an important message. A CMPD investigation has resulted in the felony arrest and suspension of the West Charlotte band director. We will have counselors offering support on campus for any student who would like to speak to someone. Our team is committed to providing a continued educational atmosphere at West Charlotte, thank you for your support.
Duncan plead guilty to taking indecent liberties with a minor. Duncan did not serve jail time for his crime, mainly because he was a first time offender. Duncan resigned from West Charlotte High School a few months after his arrest.
Duncan was sentenced to 30 months probation and was required to register as a sex offender.
Maurice claims in his filings that in March 2011 Duncan was suspended by the Charlotte Mecklenburg School system regarding alleged sex messages with students.