An elementary school principal from New York is facing multiple charges of sexual assault after he was accused of abusing at least nine boys over the past four years.
Authorities said that Kirk Ashton, who was the principal of Northwood Elementary School, sexually assaulted the boys during school hours. His victims were between the ages of 8 and 12. The allegations date back to 2017, but investigators are looking to see if he abused other students during his 17-year tenure at the school.
"Generally, individuals who are predators, they prey on children," New York State Police Lieutenant Barry Chase said. "Unfortunately, sometimes they get into positions that are powerful, and, you know, they take advantage of the weak and the young. It does happen, and it's very unfortunate that these people get into certain types of positions."
Ashton pleaded not guilty and is being held on a bail of $500,000 cash or a $1 million bond.
One of Ashton's alleged victims, who is now in his 20s, described the abuse that occurred while Ashton was working at a different elementary school.
"My safe space was his office, which is kind of messed up looking back at it," Chad Morrison told WHEC. "I can like literally picture it in my head right now. Like I can see his office, how it's set up."
"No teacher from kindergarten through college has ever touched me—maybe like a high five or a fist bump—but like to sit on a man's lap and have him like slowly rub your back, and your neck and your arms. I thought it was just like, to calm me down, maybe," Morrison explained.
Photo: New York State Police