Following child safety session, student came forward about former Hilton principal
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The testimony of over two dozen young boys in the Kirk Ashton trial persuaded a jury to convict a former Hilton Elementary School principal of sexual abuse. One local agency also played a major role in the case coming to fruition.
That agency is the Bivona Child Advocacy Center. News10NBC talked to the leader of the organization.
Ashton was convicted of inappropriately touching two dozen young boys. On Monday his victims, and their families, got justice. Meanwhile they continue to focus on their healing.
“A student did come forward following an education session,” said Dr. Daniele Lyman-Torres, from Bivona Child Advocacy Center.
That’s how Kirk Ashton found himself on trial for sexually abusing students while he was principal in Hilton. In 2022, Bivona Child Advocacy Center presented to students at Northwood Elementary. Soon after a student came forward alleging Ashton had inappropriately touched him. A jury convicted him Monday of sexually abusing two dozen boys.
“The training is really focused on the prevention, the identification, and stopping of abuse,” said Lyman-Torres.
Since 2018 Bivona has been visiting area schools teaching about child safety. Lyman-Torres said the training also focuses on teaching adults how to spot potential abuse. School employees are mandated to report anything concerning.
“People who work in particular positions that serve children are required to report, and when we talk about education, and we educate adults, we remind them of what mandated means. It means a requirement to report, because everyone has a responsibility to prevent, identify, and stop abuse,” said Lyman-Torres. She continued, “We are supposed to be able to trust institutions where we send our children to be safe places for those children.”
Ashton was charged with 50 counts, and was convicted of 46. He was acquitted of four counts related to three victims.