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Officials: Hartman sexual abuse case didn't need CPS investigation

Karl Hartman, the former principal at Kingsley Middle School, was charged with two counts of degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of accosting a minor and two counts of furnishing alcohol to minors on January 23. (Photo Courtesy: Grand Traverse County Sheriff's Office)

GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) -- New information is coming out in a sexual abuse case against a former middle school principal.

According to records, five days had passed between the time Kingsley Area Schools Superintendent Keith Smith found out about the alleged sexual abuse of a male student by former principal Karl Hartman and when it was reported to law enforcement.

Smith said the delay was because he initially got the information from someone not directly involved in the case.

Further complicating matters was that the incident happened 10 years ago and that the alleged victims were now adults who aren't in the area.

State law requires school employees to immediately report such allegations.

But Smith said there isn't always clarity around what "immediately" means in cases like this.

"The average person thinks immediate is 'I hear about it. I hang up. I dial.' I think that would have been pretty reckless to have done on Friday," said Smith. "I think the information would not have been credible. I think it would have not been specific."

When Smith did call Child Protective Services, officials said the allegations did not warrant a CPS investigation.

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