FRIDAY 1/3/20 9:48 a.m.
NEENAH, Wis. (WFRV) — The US Attorney’s Office says a New York City Department of Education official has been charged with child enticement and possession of child pornography.
According to the Office, 39-year-old David Hay, a former Tomah and Kettle Moraine High School principal, was arrested at General Mitchell International Airport on December 29 by Neenah Investigators.
The US Attorney’s Office reports that, starting in July of 2019, Hay began corresponding with “Colton” on a popular dating app. Hay believed “Colton” was a 14-year-old Neenah boy.
Officials say Hay “began engaging in sexually explicit conversations with ‘Colton’ and making plans to meet up with the minor to engage in sexual activity.”
“Colton” was actually a Neenah Police Investigator operating undercover.
The criminal complaint “alleges that Hay procured a ‘whirlpool suite’ at a Neenah area hotel for the purpose of meeting up with the child for sexual activity.”
After Hay was arrested, officials search his smartphone, which revealed sexually explicit images of a former Tomah High School student. Hay served as the principal of Tomah High from 2011-2014. Before that, Hay served as an administrator at Kettle Moraine High School for several years.
Cindy Zahrte, the superintendent of the Tomah Area School District says, “David Hay was employed as the Tomah High School principal from August of 2011 through July of 2014. He resigned to pursue his doctorate at Harvard. There were no known accusations of inappropriate or illegal behavior by Mr. Hay during his tenure in Tomah. The Tomah Area School District will fully cooperate with any law enforcement investigation if such a request is made.”
The Kettle Moraine School District superintendent Patricia Deklotz, Ph.D., released a similar statement, saying:
“The news was extremely disturbing. Mr. Hay was a principal for a short time nearly a decade ago. He was hired in January 2005 as a Business and Marketing teacher. He served as a high school principal from 2008 until 2011. In the beginning of the 2010-11 school year, the District determined Mr. Hay no longer held the license necessary for him to hold his position and also discovered he improperly used a district credit card for personal purchases. The District was fully reimbursed for personal charges before Mr. Hay resigned in February of 2011.
The District has been contacted by authorities investigating this matter and we are fully cooperating with their requests. While the District has no knowledge of any concerns that are of the nature of the investigation leading to the arrest of Mr. Hay, I am personally deeply saddened, angry and troubled with details that were released by the U.S.Attorney’s Office of the Department of Justice.”
The US Attorney’s Office says Hay now faces charges of using a computer to attempt to persuade, induce, or entice a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity as well as possession of child pornography. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and up to a lifetime of imprisonment if convicted of the enticement charge. If convicted of the child pornography possession charge, Hay faces up to 10 years imprisonment.
Neenah Police were assisted in their investigation by the Green Bay office of the FBI and the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office.
Hay’s preliminary hearing is set for January 14th.
Neenah Police arrest New York City education official accused of facilitating a child sex crime
TUESDAY 12/31/19 8:53 a.m.
NEENAH, Wis. (WFRV) – A New York City Department of Education official has been arrested by Neenah Police Investigators following an ongoing undercover Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) investigation.
According to police, with assistance from the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department, Neenah Investigators took 39-year-old David Arnold Hay into custody at General Mitchell International Airport on December 29.
Hay was then booked into the Winnebago County Jail on a charge of Use of a Computer to Facilitate a Child Sex Crime.
In correspondence with Local 5, NYC Department of Education Press Secretary Miranda Barbot says Hay has been terminated. “These allegations are incredibly disturbing and absolutely unacceptable. We took immediate action removing Mr. Hay from payroll and are terminating him.”
Barbot says the NYC DOE will assist in the investigation, “We referred this to the Special Commissioner of Investigation and we will fully comply with any investigation.”
The NYC Department of Education says Hay had no regular contact with students in his role.
Though Hay had worked for the NYC DOE, he seemingly has ties to Wisconsin. According to his LinkedIn profile, Hay held multiple positions within the Kettle Moraine School District, including as a High School Principal and the Director of Research and Development. His profile also states he was the principal of Tomah High school from 2011 to 2014.
His LinkedIn resume also states he earned his undergraduate from the University of Wisconsin – Stout, his Master of Science from UW-Milwaukee, and a Doctorate of Education Leadership from Harvard.
Police say the investigation is ongoing and remind the public that Hay is considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.