A principal at an elementary school in New York is behind bars after he was accused of sexually abusing several boys at the school.
“Kirk Ashton was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, sexual abuse and sexual conduct. He was the principal at Northwood Elementary for 17 years,” KCRG reported Friday.
A tipster’s call to the New York State Child Abuse Hotline on March 26 set off the investigation in which one alleged victim and eight others were identified. Their ages range from eight to 12, the article read.
“Ashton was arrested at a restaurant and brought to Greece Town Court Wednesday night to be arraigned. He is being held in the Monroe County Jail on $500,000 bail or $2.5 million bond,” WHAM reported.
WROC anchor Adam Chodak shared video footage of officers escorting Ashton from the court:
Here's Northwood principal Kirk Ashton being walked out of Greece Town Court moments ago after being arraigned on sexual abuse charges: pic.twitter.com/V21nD9h0U0
— Adam Chodak (@AdamChodak) April 15, 2021
Last week, Ashton was placed on leave “pending an investigation into information brought forward to the district,” a district spokesperson told reporters at the time.
Investigators said the alleged abuse occurred during school hours between September 2019 and March 26 of this year.
“Orders of protection have been issued for eight of them. One parent declined an order of protection due to privacy concerns,” the WHAM article read.
Superintendent Casey Kosiorek informed parents in the district Wednesday about the charges against Ashton.
“I want to assure you that the District has been cooperating fully with the State Police,” he said, according to Fox 59. “Our primary concern is for our students.”
The parents of two families whose children are reportedly involved in the investigation claimed Ashton invited male students to have lunch with him inside his office.
“This particular crime is almost unthinkable. Using his position of power and authority, this predator preyed on these little boys,” Greece Police Chief Drew Forsythe alleged, adding, “This guy, who is charged with guiding, mentoring and protecting children, used their innocence and trust to violate them.”