Last week, WCHL reported that officials at the Carolina Friends School had discovered repeated cases of sexual abuse at the school from 1969 to 1976, as multiple students reported being abused by a former principal and a former teacher during that time.

Now, the teacher implicated in that report has taken his own life.

Charles William “Bill” Butcher was 71 years old. He lived in West Jefferson.

In a statement, Carolina Friends School principal Mike Hanas wrote:

“In speaking with his niece, who had been unaware of the situation at Carolina Friends School, she asked us to convey her deep sorrow for those who may have been harmed.

“We know that the effects of child sexual abuse are far-reaching for all involved. Also, we are mindful of Bill’s expression of deep remorse and desire to contribute to healing. We are sorry for the loss of opportunity for our community and for him to pursue some measure of restorative justice.

“We will continue to hold in the light Bill’s family and friends and all those affected by the terrible events of 40 years ago.”

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Hampton Funeral Home in Boone. His obituary reads in part:

“In the course of his life, Bill helped a great many people, but he also hurt some of the very ones he was helping. To those who have been injured, Bill would have wanted you to know of his deep remorse to his last breath.”