Additional victims likely in case of former school administrator charged with CSC, sheriff says
FLINT, MI — Authorities say a former principal, coach and teacher accused of criminal sexual behavior preyed on the most vulnerable young people and are now asking anyone who may have been victimized by him to come forward.
Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson held a press conference Wednesday, Aug. 17, announcing the arrest of Eugene Steven Pratt, of Davison, a man who has held various positions in school districts in Genesee and Wayne since 1986.
“When we came to this case, Captain Jason Murphy and Lt. David Kennamer, who were part of our GHOST team investigators, worked every day and we thought about it every day,” Swanson said during the interview. the press conference. “How can we hold accountable someone who was able to evade the responsibility of investigators for so many years?
“Well, that’s the day he’s held accountable.”
Pratt, 57, was arrested Tuesday, Aug. 16, at New Paths, a court-ordered substance abuse center in Flint where he has worked as a security guard and transportation worker since June 2021. The sheriff’s office has begun investigating Pratt following a tip received in February. .
Related: Former Genesee County school administrator charged with CSC
Pratt gave no statement to police, Swanson said.
On Wednesday morning, Pratt was arraigned before Genesee County District Court Judge Mark C. McCabe on a first-degree felony sexual conduct count. The accusation dates back to June 2013, when Pratt was director of Beecher Community Adult Education.
Pratt does not yet have an attorney, according to court records.
Swanson said Pratt was likely preying on the vulnerable. He believes there are at least 15 victims, some of whom have not been able to come forward. Others, he said, have yet to be identified.
“Those who are victimized, we think they’re all from young teenagers to older teenagers, even up to 20-year-olds, who were all in this adult education (program), maybe, you know, trying to get their lives back together,” Swanson said. “But we’re not going to rule out the possibility that it could have happened in another area and another school, because often these predators, they accumulate courage and they prepare people and it takes years and what happens, it just turns into this vicious circle.”
Pratt’s teaching career began in September 1986 as a student teacher at Milton E. Tucker Middle School in the Beecher School District. From there he served as a substitute teacher for Kearsley, Westwood Heights and Grand Blanc Community Schools for three years.
He taught at Armstrong Middle School from August 1990 to June 1995 as a sixth grade teacher, then at Dowdall Elementary School from August 1995 to June 1999 as a fifth grade teacher.
After that, Pratt’s teaching career gave way to a job at a local athletic club where he worked in guest services.
In October 2004, Pratt returned to education, working at Hamady Middle and High Schools as the Director of Career Resources.
Two years later, Pratt took over as director of the Beecher Adult and Alternative Education School.
After his contract was not renewed, he worked from October 2013 to June 2015 at the Caniff Liberty Academy in Hamtramck as Dean of Students.
Pratt has also worked in several school districts as a track coach, swimming and diving coach, and statistician, and has chaperoned after-school events.
He was working at New Paths in Flint at the time of his arrest, another job highlighted by Swanson allowed him to play a role with authority over others.
“Individuals like Eugene Pratt place themselves in positions of authority over others in order to find and identify vulnerable people,” Swanson said. “Now the word vulnerable includes, in this case, inner city students, poor students, students who have been expelled from high school, students trying to get their GED, adult education (students) .”
Swanson asked anyone who may have been victimized by Pratt to come forward by calling the Sheriff’s Office Victim Services Line at 810-257-3422 or 911. They can also call the Victim Advocacy Line at the YMCA Flint at 810-238-7233 (SAFE).
“Our mission is to give victims their voice and hold Eugene Pratt accountable, which is what we do,” Swanson said.
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