'We dropped our children off to him': Police, DA detail sex abuse allegations against Hilton elementary school principal

'We dropped our children off to him': Police, DA detail sex abuse allegations against Hilton elementary school principal Photo: News10NBC.

Updated: April 15, 2021 01:30 PM
Created: April 15, 2021 11:26 AM

GREECE, N.Y. (WHEC) — Authorities Thursday said the principal of an elementary school in Hilton carried his alleged abuse of several students during school hours, on school property.

Police detailed Northwood Elementary School Principal Kirk Ashton is being accused of several sexual abuse crimes by nine different boys, with the charges extending back to September 2017. The ages of the boys range from 8-12, according to police.

He pleaded not guilty to nine felony charges in Greece Town Court Wednesday night. 

Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley Thursday confirmed the latest allegation happened as soon as March 26, which is the day Troopers say the first call was made to the State's Sex Abuse Hotline, which triggered an "immediate" investigation by police.

Police say they notified the district as it was on break, and Ashton did not report back to his office after the district was notified. The district confirmed it placed him on administrative leave back on April 8.

Doorley did not disclose who made the first call to the hotline, but troopers say it was made shortly after advocates from the Bivona Child Advocacy Center were at the school for training, and believe their presence may have been an influence.

As we previously reported, orders of protection have been issued for eight of the victims. One of the parents declined due to privacy concerns. 

In addition to Doorley and State Police, Greece Police Chief Andrew Forsythe spoke, as the department assisted in the investigation. Forsythe said his children attend the elementary school

"We drop our kids off every day to this guy, and he does this, allegedly?" Forsythe said. "It's the worst thing that could possibly happen, in my mind."

At one time, Ashton worked at the Crestwood Children's Center, which is operated by Hillside Family of Agencies. News10NBC sent an email to Hillside to ask when Ashton exactly worked for the center, and what position he held, in response, we received this statement:

“Hillside is committed to the safety and wellbeing of every child, and any suspected or actual offense against a youth is not tolerated. We are prepared to cooperate fully with authorities as needed with regard to this reported incident.

The district is encouraging parents to contact Bivona at 585-935-7800 or visit the advocacy center's website for more resources.

News10NBC will have team coverage on this story beginning with News10NBC at 5:00. On News10NBC at 5:30, we'll have a live interview with the Bivona Child Advocacy Center.

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