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Ex-Tomah principal, New York education leader gets 5 years prison in child sex charges case
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Ex-Tomah principal, New York education leader gets 5 years prison in child sex charges case

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A former Tomah principal and New York education leader has been sentenced to five years in federal prison after trying to meet up with a 14 year-old boy for sex.

David Hay, 40, a principal at Tomah High School from 2011-14, was charged Jan. 3, 2020 with child enticement and possession of child pornography. Hay plead guilty to receiving child pornography.

Under the original charges he faced a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum sentence of life in prison for the child enticement charge, and up to 10 years in prison for the possession of child pornography charge. The mandatory minimum sentence for receiving child pornography is five years in prison.

According to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Hay, now a Brooklyn, New York resident, started corresponding with “Colton” on the dating app Grindr in July 2019. Hay believed “Colton” was a 14 year-old boy living in Neenah.

Unbeknownst to Hay, “Colton” was actually an undercover Neenah police investigator. The investigator, as “Colton,” told Hay he was 14.

Hay engaged in sexually explicit conversations with Colton, and made plans to meet the minor boy for sex. As part of those plans, Hay arranged for a whirlpool suite at a Neenah hotel where he proposed meeting “Colton” for sexual activity.

Authorities arrested Hay in December 2019 at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, after which a search of his smartphone revealed sexually explicit images of a former Tomah High School student.

Hay, who served as Tomah High School Principal from July 2011 through 2014, also worked at Kettle Moraine High School in Wales from 2005 to 2011. Hay left Tomah in 2014 to pursue a doctoral degree at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. Prior to his arrest, Hay was employed as the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Chancellor for the New York City Department of Education. He was fired from that position Jan. 2, 2020.

According to prosecutors, Hay exchanged emails with a 15-year-old student while he was employed at Kettle Moraine. During that time Hay received, and sent, sexually-explicit photos and videos.

Hay’s sentence of five years in prison includes 10 years of supervised release, and he will be required to register as a sex offender.

Reach Christopher Jardine on Twitter @ChrisJJardine or contact him at 608-432-6591.

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