PADUCAH, KY (WAVE) - A Kentucky high school principal is facing criminal charges after police said he failed to report a student’s allegations of sex abuse.
Several reports of sexual abuse, child pornography and sexual misconduct are being investigated at McCracken County High School, deputies said.
McCracken County High School Principal Michael Ceglinski has been suspended with pay from his duties after being charged with two misdemeanors alleging he did not report sexual abuse of his students, Ceglinski’s attorney said on Wednesday.
Ceglinski is charged with two misdemeanors of official misconduct and failure to report.
The Director of Pupil Personnel at McCracken County High, Brian Bowland, has also been charged with official misconduct.
The criminal complaint against Ceginski reads in part: “Both Ceglinski and Bowland had a duty to report allegations made by the student to law enforcement, which neither of them did. They also went well outside their official duties by conducting and directing an investigation into an alleged sexual assault.”
On Thursday, WPSD reports that one of the people charged in the scandal, 18-year-old Princekumar Joshi, allegedly drove an underage female classmate to his house and forced her to perform oral sex. Joshi also took Snapchat videos of the forced sexual act.
The warrant states that the victim went to the school and told them she had been blackmailed into performing oral sex. It was then, deputies said, that Ceglinski and Bowland began their own investigation, without contacting police. The victim was asked to give a written statement.
Joshi was interviewed by the school, who admitted to taking two videos on his phone, but had since deleted them. He also provided a written statement to the school.
McCracken County Sheriff Matt Carter said his deputies only got involved only after the student complained directly to his office. Since January 17, police had been made aware of four different incidents, the sheriff’s office said.
“In addition, we have learned that the victim and the victim’s parents had first gone to the school approximately three weeks prior to contacting our office. The school did not and has not reported this information to our office,” Captain Ryan Norman with the McCracken County Sheriff’s Office said.
The first investigation, which began in January 2019, involved former McCracken County High School Athletic Director Kris Garrett. He is accused of having inappropriate contact with former and current students. Capt. Norman said they believe it involved sending and receiving naked pictures of students, according to WPSD.
Garrett resigned this month.
Last week, Fishing Coach John Parks was charged with sexual abuse and possession of child pornography, WPSD reports. The investigation into Parks began in mid-February 2019.
A few days later, 18-year-old McCracken County High School student Princekumar Joshi was arrested for having illegal sexual images of an underage student.
During the investigation, detectives learned that faculty and staff at the school learned of at least two of the incidents and conducted their own investigations regarding the criminal allegations, officials said.
Parents, who were just starting to learn the depth of multiple investigations of sexual misconduct at the school, were shocked.
Jamie Pratter’s daughter goes to McCracken County High School. Pratter said her daughter told her of rumors, but the school didn’t tell her the facts, WPSD reports.
“I’m kind of shocked that we don’t know as parents. I didn’t find out until somebody to let us know. Until you told us, I didn’t even know about a fourth individual,” Pratter told WPSD.
An attorney for Ceglinski called the charges “nonsensical and illogical.”
The Superintendent of McCracken County Schools, Brian Harper, said he was working with the sheriff’s department to provide counselors and training. WPSD asked what the training would involve and what the district would do to ensure transparency, but Harper declined to comment.