Morehead Christian school teacher accused of molesting child has family member come forward “He did it to me in 1975”

MOREHEAD, FL – A Florida man is accused of sexually abusing a relative nearly 45 years ago and is now in custody.

According to the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office, the department received a report from an adult female who stated she was sexually abused by a family member as a child. The assault reportedly occurred beginning in 1975.

The victim came forward after she learned that the suspect, James Fredrick Hammontree, was arrested by the Morehead Police Department for (1) One Count of Sexual Battery. He has a pending court date scheduled for December 4, 2020, for that arrest.

At the time of that arrest, Hammontree was a teacher at a Christian school in Morehead City.

Detectives from Onslow County Sheriff’s Office Special Victims Unit began an investigation, during which it was learned that the perpetrator had been married numerous times and allegedly abused several additional family members. Even though the crime occurred 45 years ago, there is no statute of limitation on such crimes.

After a thorough review of the investigation with the Onslow County District Attorney’s staff, the investigation concluded with the arrest of James Fredrick Hammontree on November 24, 2020 by Onslow County Sheriff’s Office Special Victim’s Unit Det. Sgt. K. Simma. Hammontree, 75-years-old with a listed address of Hodges Street in Morehead City was taken before a magistrate and charged with nine felony Counts of Indecent Liberties with a Child Under the Age of 12.

Hammontree is currently in Onslow County Detention Center under a $180,000 secured bond.

Often when children are victims of sexual abuse, they are afraid to say anything out of fear of repercussions, feeling like it was their fault, or not being believed. We want to stress that it is NEVER too late to report incidences like this and highly encourage anyone that is being victimized to tell someone: a teacher, pastor, friend, or law enforcement.

Crime Stoppers offers cash reward of up to $2,500 for information that is deemed of value or assistance to law enforcement. Information can also be anonymously texted via Text-A-Tip by typing TIP4CSJAX and your message to 274637 (CRIMES). Callers to Crime Stoppers may remain anonymous and never have to reveal their identity.