Former Michigan middle school principal arrested on sex crime charges

Michigan middle school principal arrested on sex crime charges

KINGSLEY, MI (WWTV/CNN) - A middle school principal in Michigan resigned from his job Monday, just one day before he was arrested.

Karl Hartman is facing charges that include groping one of his students 10 years ago when the boy was only 8 or 9 years old.

Hartman was the principal at Kingsley Middle School since 2016. He faces two charges of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of accosting a minor, and two counts of furnishing alcohol to minors.

"At this point, we're aware of one incident that happened at the school,” said Noelle Moeggenberg, the Grand Traverse County prosecutor. “Other incidents happened at his home. We are still in the midst of an investigation, obviously."

Moeggenberg said the alleged incidents took place at different times.

"The alcohol incidents, furnishing alcohol, occurred more recently but the actual sexual contact incidents were about 10 years ago."

Investigators have been in contact with three potential victims.

“It’s my understanding that one came forward first,” Moeggenberg said. “He had information about others and we then reached out to those individuals.”

Traverse City Attorney Monica Beck has worked with children who are victims of sexual assault. She said accusations against school leaders are especially painful.

"It's a person who children are taught to obey, to trust, to revere really, who has harmed them in so many ways,” Beck said. “So it makes it extra challenging for children to come forward."

Moeggenberg said it’s not uncommon for people accused of these types of crimes to have people who support them.

"I'm hoping people will come forward with whatever information they have, whether it's helpful to him,” she said. “Obviously he's innocent till proven guilty."

Hartman is expected in court Wednesday.

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