A former Findlay High School assistant principal, Patrick C. Hickey, has been charged with three counts of criminal sexual conduct in Lenawee County, Michigan, in connection with a 1987 incident, according to court records.
The third-degree felony charges are each punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Hickey will plead not guilty, his attorney said Tuesday.
Hickey, 54, is now a member of the Washington Local School District board in Toledo.
His attorney, Lorin Zaner, said Tuesday that Hickey will soon be sending a resignation letter to the board.
“He has passed a polygraph test concerning these allegations and he felt it’s in the best interest for the board, so that he’s not the focus of what they’re doing, that the students and the community is the focus,” Zaner said.
Hickey was elected to the board last November.
Zaner said that “at some point (Hickey) will be turning himself in,” but did not say when that would happen.
The charges against Hickey were filed Tuesday. Records list the date of the alleged offense as March 31, 1987.
At the time, Hickey was a teacher and girls basketball coach at Addison High School in Addison, Michigan.
Zaner said Tuesday the alleged offenses “happened many, many years ago,” though he later said, “it’s my belief that there is not an issue of the statute of limitations, but we’ll take a look at it and obviously if there is, we will raise it.”
A woman told Michigan State Police in 2016 about an alleged sexual relationship with Hickey in 1987, Lt. Tony Cuevas, commander of the Monroe post of the state police, told The Courier in January. The woman said she was 15 at the time.
Last December, the woman asked the state police for a full investigation and prosecutor review, Cuevas said.
“Part of our defense” will concern why the charges have been made now, rather than after the alleged offenses occurred, Zaner said.
Zaner said he arranged Hickey’s polygraph test, which was administered Monday. Questions concerned whether “he had any sexual relations with a couple of specific people” and whether “he had any sexual relations with any students or athletes that he was the coach for, and the answer was no,” Zaner said.
In his resignation letter to the school board, Hickey said the charges against him “are false” and the conclusion of the forensic psychophysiologist who conducted the polygraph test “was that I told the truth and have not had sexual activity with any student, ever.”
“He is not guilty of these charges. He did not molest any kids, and it’s a shame after 30 years he now has to try to fight a case that’s so old,” Zaner said. “You know, witnesses may no longer be around. Very difficult process, especially in today’s environment with the Me Too, and all of those things that are going on. Very difficult.”
Asked if it’s ever too late to report an incident, Zaner said “it’s never too late to say anything.”
Hickey was an assistant principal at Findlay High School from August 1996 to August 2002.
His Findlay personnel file was lost in the 2007 flood, said Meagan Brown, secretary for Superintendent Ed Kurt. Findlay City Schools’ administrative offices and computer servers at that time were housed in the Central Middle School basement, which was flooded with about 5 feet of water.
Hickey left Findlay to join Washington Local as assistant superintendent. He was promoted to superintendent in 2007.
He resigned from that position in 2015, leaving before the school board could consider firing him based on the findings of a law firm, according to the Toledo Blade. The firm alleged that Hickey had not told Washington Local about the circumstances under which he left Addison High School.
He is banned from Washington Local school property because of an “altercation” at a basketball game, according to the Blade. The school board’s January, February and March meetings were moved to an American Legion post.
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