Hanover Professor Accused Of Past Child Sexual Abuse

By Jeff Tang

(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) -- A professor at Hanover College faces charges he sexually abused a 13 year old boy nearly two decades ago. The school says art professor John Martin was shocked when he learned about the allegations. WAVE 3's Jeff Tang investigates.

"Whether they're working at a school or somewhere where's they're in contact with kids is always a concern," said LMPD Lt. Danny Assef.

John Martin is an art professor at Hanover College. But it's not what Martin does now that police are looking into -- its what he allegedly did nearly 20 years ago.

A Jefferson County grand jury indicted Martin on one count of third degree sodomy earlier this week. Investigators believe he sexually abused a 13 year old boy multiple times between 1986 and 1988.  Because the charges are just now surfacing, physical evidence will be difficult to come by.

"It's going to be statements of witnesses in some situations paper evidence," says Assef.

Hanover officials declined to comment on camera about the situation, but say they met with Martin on Friday to discuss the allegations. The school says Martin was "blindsided" by the charges. So far have no plans to discipline him until the matter is resolved in the courts.

Students at Hanover also weren't ready to rush to judgment.

"Whenever you punish somebody you have to make sure its true and because it happened so long ago I think it would be really hard to prove that," said junior Ashley Wells.

"We should definitely wait to see how the charges carry out. But if he is found guilty there should be repercussions about that," says freshman Maggie Lewellen.

So far, Martin has been difficult to track down. The college says they have no home address for him and police have not yet served his arrest warrant.

"We would encourage him to turn himself in we will be actively looking for him it will be easier for him and us if he did turn himself in," Assef said.

Martin is scheduled to be indicted next Monday. Hanover officials say Martin did teach a class on Friday.

That class has an exam next week, but Martin will not administer it.

There is no word if that is related to the allegations.

Online Reporter:  Jeff Tang

Online Producer: Charles Gazaway