HILTON, N.Y. (WROC) — A new complaint was filed Wednesday against Northwood Elementary School principal Kirk Ashton, the Hilton Central School District, and Hilton Superintendent Casey Kosiorek, this time on behalf of two additional students and their parents.
Ashton is accused of sexually harassing over 30 students during his time as principal from 2004 through 2021.
The complaint filed Wednesday claims Ashton would hold regular “lunch bunch” meetings with male students in his office, during which his door would be closed. It claims Ashton used those meetings to isolate male students and — in the case of the two involved in the new lawsuit — force them to sit on his lap while he rubbed their shoulders, backs, and thighs.
According to the complaint, two parents approached school officials after their child told them about “lunch bunch” meetings. They “expressed concerns” to a school official about the meetings and told the employee not to allow their child to attend in the future. It claims the school failed to investigate those concerns, and allowed the child to attend the meetings the following year, until Ashton was arrested.
The complaint alleges the parents of the two students were never told about the “lunch bunch” meetings by Ashton, Northwood officials, district officials, or Kosiorek. It claims the meetings “were known, or should have been known” to Northwood, the district, and the superintendent.
The complaint also claims Ashton created a Black History Month reading program outside the school’s approved curriculum specifically to gain physical access to students during the pandemic. Under the program, students would go to the school on days they were scheduled for remote learning. It claims Ashston sexually assaulted at least one student during these meetings, which continued after Black History Month.
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.