Former Kingsley Middle School Principal Arrested for Sex Crimes

“We have at this point three different victims that we’re aware of.”

A former Kingsley school principal is now facing criminal charges connected to alleged sex crimes involving victims who were students at the time.

We told you earlier this month that Karl Hartman was put on administrative leave as principal of Kingsley Middle School.

Parents got word of the active investigation back on January 11.

At the time, the district said they were shocked and heartbroken to learn about the allegations.

Now, Hartman has resigned from his post at the school just Monday, and Tuesday morning he was arrested in Kingsley.

He’s expected to be arraigned in the morning on multiple charges including sex crimes.

Karl Hartman faces five charges in all: two counts of second degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of accosting a child for immoral purposes and two counts of providing alcohol to minors.

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

The most serious of the charges, 2nd Degree CSC, date back to 2009 when the alleged victims were just eight or nine years old. In one incident the victim claims he spent the night at Hartman’s home, and the two slept in the same bed. It was there, the victim says, that Hartman groped the boy.

The other incident in 2009 allegedly happened in Hartman’s office, where the victim says he was placed on Hartman’s lap and was touched inappropriately.

Moegennberg says 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,” she says.

At this point investigators have been in contact with three potential victims.

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

Traverse City attorney Monica Beck has worked with children who are victims of sexual assault. She says 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. So it makes it extra challenging for them to come forward,” Beck said.

Detectives and the prosecutor are aware of community support, Moegennberg says 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. Obviously he’s innocent till proven guilty,” Moegennberg said.

We’re told Hartman will spend the night in the Grand Traverse County jail and have his first court appearance Wednesday morning.