Principal Arrested on Sexual Abuse Charge
The Principal at a Boone County high school in West Virginia was arrested on Friday after allegedly having sex with two students.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court, Garth Emil Mock, the principal at Van High School, is charged with sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, custodian, or person in trust to a child, after Mock, age 43, allegedly had sex with two female students at his apartment on Chesterfield Avenue in Kanawha City.
One of the girls, 18 year old Destiny Lovejoy, gave a victim statement to authorities. “We talked on Facebook for a few months, and he would always give me advice and stuff and anytime I needed somebody he was always there for me.” said Destiny. After a few weeks, the conversations became explicit. “It all turned into being so sexual and he said he didn’t want it to be because he didn’t want to get in trouble himself,” she continued, “I had a lot of feelings for him and a lot of respect for him but he chose to do it so I can’t put all the blame on us.” Destiny says she now “regrets her decision to have sex with her principal, but he knew what he was doing was wrong.”
The identity of the second female student involved is being withheld because she s under age at 17 years old. Boone County Superintendent, John Hudson, released a statement, providing that Mock had been on leave from his job since the end of January. “During this time, law enforcement conducted an investigation with which the school district has fully cooperated,” the statement read. “When we were informed today that a warrant was issued for Mr. Mock’s arrest on the felony charge of sexual abuse in the first degree, he was immediately suspended without pay and forbidden to enter upon school property or attend school-sponsored events.”
Hudson’s statement said the Board of Education would continue to follow the case in the courts. “If and when the Board of Education takes additional action with respect to Mr. Mock’s employment, it will happen at a public school board meeting,” the statement read. “I am not now in a position to answer questions about this matter. Rest assured that Boone County Schools will do everything within its power to keep its students safe.”
The Coal Valley News reported that Mock was the principal at van High School for two years. According to a local parent, school officials did not give a reason for Mock’s departure.
Charleston Police Department Sgt, J.A. Hunt said police would not release more information than contained in the criminal complaint “due to the nature of the case and the ages of the children involved.”
Hunt said that Mock’s bond had been set at $5,000 cash and had been posted. If convicted, Mock could face up to 10 to 20 years in a correctional facility. According to police, Mock could not be charged with sexual assault, which would have led to a longer incarceration, because no force was used and the alleged victims were not under the age of 16.