McCracken County Sheriff's Office Details Investigations At County High School
The McCracken County Sheriff’s Office says there are three separate investigations into alleged inappropriate contact made by McCracken County High School staff, a volunteer coach and a student. Another investigation is looking into school officials failing to report this contact.
Detective Ryan Norman said county high school principal Michael Ceglinski and school district director of pupil personnel Brian Bowland have been charged with misdemeanors related to not reporting inappropriate contact.
Those investigations into inappropriate contact include High School Athletic Director Kris Garrett allegedly sending and receiving naked pictures with minor students. Garrett resigned two weeks ago but has not been charged.
Another investigation is looking into inappropriate contact between a teacher and current and former students. Norman said this teacher does not have contact with any students at this time.
Norman also said that 18-year-old high school student Princekumar Joshi is being charged with recording illegal sexual images of a minor.
Deputies arrested High School Volunteer Fishing Coach John Parks last week on charges of child pornography possession and first degree sexual abuse in a separate investigation. Norman said the alleged victim’s parents reported Parks to the high school weeks in advance.
But Norman said law enforcement didn’t hear about Parks’ alleged abuse at all from the school district. Their office learned about the abuse when the alleged victim’s parents contacted them three weeks later.
McCracken County Attorney Sam Clymer said during a press conference streamed by WPSD, anyone who has reasonable belief of child abuse or misconduct is required to report it.
“This reporting requirement applies to everybody -- everybody watching, everyone listening, everybody in this room. If you know something, if you have reason to know something, report it,” Clymer said.
Ceglinski’s attorney, Paducah-based Jeremy Smith, in a statement said charges against his client are “illogical” and “nonsensical.” Find the statement here.
Kentucky law requires incidents of child abuse or neglect be reported to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, a commonwealth attorney, a county attorney or local law enforcement.
Sheriff Matt Carter said he encourages people with more information and other potential victims to come forward.
“We want them to know they we can be an avenue in which they can confide in to report any type of abuse or neglect,” Carter said.
Carter said the ongoing investigations into inappropriate contact by school staff, the volunteer coach and the student appear to be unrelated.