Former Northwood principal accused of sexually abusing students released from jail

HILTON, N.Y. (WHEC) — The former Northwood Elementary School principal accused of sexually abusing students has posted bail and was released from jail Tuesday afternoon.

Ashton is facing dozens of charges in connection to the accusations.

In a press release that was sent out Tuesday, the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office said bail was addressed six separate times in court.

The DA’s Office said it tried to have Ashton’s bail kept higher than the $100,000 he posted on Monday, or even have it raised as more victims came out, but the judge decided otherwise.

Details about Ashton’s bail applications are below (mobile users, click here):

Kirk Ashton Bail Applications by News10NBC on Scribd

In response to the news, the Hilton Central School District will have additional security present outside Northwood as well as several additional counseling staff available for students and staff throughout the day.

A lawyer for some of the families of Ashton’s alleged victims told News10NBC Ashton’s release is a letdown, but it wasn’t unexpected.

Ashton resigned from his position as principal last month. Ashton had been on leave since early April.

Across two indictments, Ashton is accused of abusing 26 children while he was a principal of Northwood Elementary from 2004 through 2021. He allegedly caressed and fondled boys in his office.

There are also multiple lawsuits against Ashton and the Hilton Central School District.

Paul Harding, one of the lawyers for them, said they do understand that he’s entitled to get out on bail, as tough as it may be to see him out of jail for now.

"They knew that he was in prison," Hardin said. "As these things come back out — the fact that this is a big deal — that he’s gotten bail, to some degree, many of the victims and their families are sort of reliving some of the events. Not that they weren’t expecting that bail could happen, but, when it turns into reality, it still is something they need to deal with and, I think they also recognize that this is a step moving forward. Again, they want reconciliation. They were there to be a day in court or a plea to something. And then, they want to start preparing themselves for the future, which is repairing the damage that was done by Mr. Ashton."

Ashton will have to wear an ankle monitor as he awaits trial.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said there will be extra security measures at Northwood Elementary School.