Former Bethel elementary school principal pleads guilty to attempting to persuade child to engage in sexual activitiy
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The former principal of Gladys Jung Elementary School in Bethel has entered a plea agreement with the state for a federal charge of attempting to coerce or persuade a minor to engage in sexual activity with him.
Chris Carmichael has admitted guilt to one count of attempted coercion and enticement of a minor. By entering a guilty plea, the U.S. has dismissed three additional indictments and will not prosecute Carmichael for those offenses once he has been sentenced in this case.
Carmichael had been the principal of Gladys Jung Elementary since the fall of 2014, but at the end of 2019, he faced one federal charge of attempted transfer of obscene content to a minor and two federal charges of attempted coercion and enticement of a minor.
Law enforcement started to investigate Carmichael in June of 2019 after a former student contacted Bethel police saying Carmichael had sexually molested her when she was 14 years old.
According to the plea agreement, police started to pose as a 13-year-old girl and cousin of the former student. Police, posing as the girl, sent Carmichael a text saying “hi," to which Carmichael responded with a series of “graphic text messages... in which he expressed a desire to engage in sexual contact” with the 13-year-old, the agreement states.
The plea agreement says Carmichael flew to Anchorage in an attempt to meet, fondle and have oral sex with the girl. In his messages, Carmichael instructed the girl to do sexually explicit things to herself before he saw her. The plea agreement says Carmichael “masturbated to ejaculation” while on the phone with someone he believed was a 13-year-old girl.
By pleading guilty, Carmichael acknowledges that he knowingly attempted to persuade a person under the age of 18 to engage in sexual activity.
The statutory penalties for the federal crime include a minimum of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 and at least five years of supervised release, the plea agreement states.
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