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Genesee Teacher Among Those Nabbed in "Gay" Sex Sting?

September 18, 2005

“Officials at the Genesee school district will not confirm if a teacher there was among those arrested as part of a recent gay sex sting operation at Richfield County Park. …Gary Glenn, President of the Michigan chapter of the American Family Associaiton, agreed with (a) demand for names. ‘I can’t believe the media there hasn’t named who these educators are,’ Glenn said.”

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FLINT AREA MEDIA
Flint, Michigan
September 14, 2005

Gay Sex Sting
Genesee Teacher Among Those Nabbed at Richfield County Park?
by Mike Killbreath
FAM Publisher & Executive Editor

Officials at the Genesee school district will not confirm if a teacher there was among those arrested as part of a recent gay sex sting operation at Richfield County Park.

Shawn Slattery, outgoing president of the Genesee Board of Education, confirmed hearing rumors about it, but said, “My term was over June 30 and I don’t want to make any comment on it. If you call our superintendent, Mark Hilt, I’m sure he won’t talk about it either.�

Hilt was angered about being reached by telephone at home during the Fourth of July weekend after trial dates on July 1 for all eight suspects in the sting operation. “I don’t appreciate being called at home about this,� Hilt said. “I have an office at the school.� Hilt ended the telephone conversation by hanging up when asked when he would next be at his office. Students are currently enjoying summer vacation.

Before hanging up, Hilt refused to confirm the birthdate, approximate age or address of one court defendant matching the name of a teacher employed by the Genesee school district. Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell said a teacher and principal were among the eight men nabbed in the sting during daytime school hours, but Pickell would not reveal any names.

Hilt refused to confirm one defendant’s possible employment with his district when refusing to compare the address and birthdate on record at the court with school employment records. A Freedom of Information Act request will be filed by Flint Area Media to obtain the public records Hilt would not disclose.

“Nobody from any law enforcement agency has called to tell me one of our staff members is involved in this,� Hilt said. When asked if he thought there was a duty for him to investigate, Hilt said, “I won’t investigate rumors.�

Judy Climer, president of Flint Right Life and former 18-year member of the Kearsley Board of Education, disagreed with the position of Hilt. “Every school board member and superintendent in this county has a duty to make sure one of these individuals isn’t in contact with our children,� Climer stressed. “Men are running around half dressed in a family park with children around, looking for sex with other men and finding sex partners right out in public. The sheriff says a principal and teacher were arrested. They should not be around children, period. I’d like to know who these educators are. The public has a right to know names.�

Gary Glenn, President of the Michigan chapter of the American Family Associaiton, agreed with Climer’s demand for names.

“I can’t believe the media there hasn’t named who these educators are,� Glenn said.

The Flint Journal identified one defendant, Nickolas Hoffman, after he was fired from his job as a Genesee County employee. Hoffman, 51, was on county time and using a county-owned vehicle when arrested at Richfield Park. Hoffman has obtained the services of lawyer Dennis Lazar, former Genesee County chief deputy prosecuting attorney.

Hoffman entered a not guilty plea on June 1, according to records obtained from the Genesee County 67th District Court.

Hoffman was the only man so far identified by the media until this story.

Online court records indicate Hoffman and one other defendant were arrested on May 19 while May 9 is listed as the arrest date for the other six men. All eight men entered not guilty pleas after they were arraigned in the Davison division of Genesee County 67th District Court between May 24 and June 13 on misdemeanor personal conduct charges.

Other local media reports listed May 9 as the arrest date when originally reporting erroneously that nine men had been arrested. Eight defendants nabbed in the sting operation faced a July 1 pre-trial date where they were given opportunities to reach a plea bargain agreement by July 26 with the office of Genesee County Prosecuting Attorney David Leyton.

Trial dates were set by Genesee County 67th District Court Judge John Conover for Hoffman and two others who did not make a deal.

The defendants with Hoffman who chose to go to trials were Craig A. Snyder, 44, and Michael L. Peterson, 62. Snyder hired attorney Jeffrey Skinner and Peterson is represented by attorney Darin Weinberg.

Five others took plea bargain deals by pleading nolo contendere to attempted personal conduct counts. Sentencing dates will be set for them before Judge Conover. The y are as follows:

David M. Humphreys, 46, is represented by attorney Armene Kaye; and

Oscar R. Sears, 74, is also represented by Kaye; and

Stephen G. Strom, 49, is represented by attorney Jay Clothier; and

Michael A. Tausch, 50, requested an attorney be appointed for him because he can’t afford one; and

Bobby R. Reynolds Jr., age not known, requested an attorney be appointed for him because he can’t afford one.

http://www.gcweb.us/News090205001.html

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