New complaint filed against Hilton principal Kirk Ashton alleges weekly abuse for several years

Crime

HILTON, N.Y. (WROC) — A new complaint was filed against Northwood Elementary School principal Kirk Ashton and former Hilton Superintendent David Dimbleby, on behalf of an additional student and their parent.

Ashton is accused of sexually harassing over 30 students during his time as principal from 2004 through 2021.

Dimbleby was the superintendent of the district from July 1, 2005 to December 31, 2015.

The complaint alleges that Ashton abused a student weekly over the course of several years. According to court paperwork, from the time this student was in 1st grade, in the fall of 2009 and continuing through sixth grade, this student was sexually abused by Ashton.

The complaint also alleges that staff within the district knew Ashton would take male students to his office alone.

“At all times relevant to this complaint, upon information and belief, teachers, students, and staff at the School, knew that Defendant, ASHTON, would take male students to his office and remain in the office with the male students alone with the door shut.”

The complaint claims that beginning on or around 2009, the student would be called down to Ashton’s office to have lunch or do homework. The complaint says that Ashton would close the door and direct the student to sit on his lap.

“Although there was a window on the door to Ashton’s office, pictures covered the window so that no one either could see into Ashton’s office or outside of Ashton’s office.”

The complaint states that during these occasion Ashton would touch the student’s shoulders, and rub and caress the student’s back, buttocks, knees and thighs.

During second grade, the student began an individualized Education Program (IEP) due to his diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. The paperwork claims that because of the IEP and ADHD, the student was more vulnerable to Ashton because of his need for extra help.

The complaint alleges that when the student would meet with his teacher, or counselor, he would be sent to Ashton’s office.

“This course of conduct, i.e., the teacher calling (the student) to the front of the class, and/or the Counselor having (the student) in his office, and (the student) being told to go down to Ashton’s office where he was to work and have lunch, and being subjected to unwanted physical and sexual contact by Ashton, would happen at least three times per week during the 2010-2011 2nd grade school year.”

Ashton is charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse against minors from second to fifth grade. He is currently being held in the Niagara County Jail. 

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