In upstate New York, the parents of public school children have gotten an email containing a warning that their children’s former principal has officially been released back into the public from jail in the wake of making bail.
Kirk Ashton, the former Northwood Elementary School Principal, was officially charged with sexually abusing a large number of schoolboys over a 17-year period of their career.
When he was taken in custody and charged back in April, he was accused of the sexual abuse of nine young male students, all of which were within the district. In the wake of this, a total of over twenty-four students have bravely told their stories and added to the accusations of abuse.
“Hilton [Central School District] emailed parents saying that former principal Kirk Ashton has been released from jail,” stated Wendy Mills with Spectrum News.
“District says it will have additional security outside Northwood [Elementary School] Tuesday and that counselors will be available for students and staff,” continued Mills.
“I have been informed that former Northwood Principal, Kirk Ashton, was released from jail today,” stated the email, which was signed by Casey Kosiorek, the Hilton Central School District Superintendent, as reported by News 8 WROC. “The district will have additional security present outside Northwood tomorrow. In addition, I will be there, along with other administrators from District Office. We will also have several additional counseling staff available for students and staff throughout the day.”
In a statement put forth Tuesday by the office of Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley, “In anticipation of his (Ashton’s) release, the Greece Police Department and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office are aware of the situation and will be monitoring closely,” the document stated. “The Monroe County District Attorney’s Office is prepared to bring this case to trial as soon as possible.”
The bail of $100,000, which was an amount that has been subject to reductions multiple times since his arrest, was posted by Ashton. This past Month, WHAM 13 News reported:
In July, Ashton’s attorney argued for his $250,000 bail to be reduced, saying he only had access to $20,000 in personal funds and can’t draw on the $600,000 he has in retirement finances. His attorney requested it be reduced to $20,000, but the judge settled on $175,000, while also stipulating Ashton be subject to electronic home monitoring.
On Friday (September 17), the judge reduced Ashton’s cash bail to $100,000 and the bond to $175,000.
The report from News 8 WROC went on to add that the principal quit from his position in September after pleading not guilty to the grand total of 25 charges. An odd agreement that took place between the district and Ashton weirdly allowed the former administrator to receive five months salary, and also compensation for “the amount of his accrued vacation and sick time.”
Jason Housel, the attorney that is representing Ashton, stated this past month that his client would receive $8,000 a month from the district as per the agreement.
“Even if it was turned over to him, he doesn’t get that entire amount,” Housel complained. “He has a wife. They have to go through a divorce proceeding and allocate that money appropriately, so he does not have what the people claim he does.”
Sara VanStrydonck, the Assistant District Attorney, put forth the argument back in September that Ashton was an extreme flight risk.
“It’s only grown stronger as the list and number of child victims have come forward and (he has) been indicted,” stated the assistant district attorney. “We feel that the more victims, the more charges, the more notoriety of this defendant, it makes him a higher flight risk.”
As reported by WHAM 13 News, Ashton will be fitted with an electronic home monitoring system and will be forced to hand over his passport. He is also barred from going anywhere near any school or Hilton Central.