No charges being filed against former McCracken County High athletic director
MCCRACKEN COUNTY, KY — The sex crimes investigation of former McCracken County High School Athletic Director Kris Garrett has been closed without any charges filed for now. Sheriff Matt Carter made the announcement Tuesday afternoon.
Garrett resigned his position after allegations were made that he was soliciting students for naked pictures in exchange for naked pictures he had.
A lengthy investigator’s report released by Carter says Garrett admitted sending and receiving pictures with a number of former students. He denied any activity with current students.
The investigator, Detective Capt. Ryan Norman writes that Garrett initially denied using Snapchat to correspond with students.
In the report, Norman said he “asked Garrett if he had his phone with him and if he would allow Norman to look at it.”
The report continues: “Garrett stated yes and proceeded to unlock his iPhone. As Garrett unlocked his iPhone, Norman saw him attempt to delete an application. As Norman asked what he was doing and told him to stop, Garrett deleted the application. Garrett stated that it was a Snapchat app. Norman asked Garrett why he would delete the app and he stated that there embarrassing things on it. Garrett stated that there were embarrassing conversations with friends and pictures of people.”
Norman’s report said he thinks there is probable cause to believe that Garrett committed felony evidence tampering by knowingly deleting the app after being asked to show the detective his phone.
The detective then obtained a search warrant for Garrett’s phone and his Google, iCloud and Snapchat accounts. The search warrants were sent to the companies on Jan. 23 and the detective is still awaiting the information sought.
Norman’s report says a forensic examination of the former athletic director’s phone revealed more than a thousand Snapchat contacts. Norman said the overwhelming majority of the “Snapchat chat contacts are pornographic.” He said all but a few of the users were not identifiable. Norman also said the phone contained an app called Photo Vault that the detective wrote is the type people often use to hide pictures on their phones. It requires a separate pass code to access.
During interrogation, Garrett named several former recent graduates with whom he had exchanged pictures. During the examination of the phone, one naked photo of a former student was recovered. She was over 18 at the time the photo was taken.
Norman’s report says Garrett “most likely” got the cell numbers of former students through use of the McCracken County Schools computer system and his position within the school system.
The detective conducted numerous interviews with students, former students and school personnel. He listed three students he had sought to interview who could not be located.
The report says the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office did not believe there was sufficient evidence to proceed.
Additional potential victims have not come forward in several weeks.
The case could be reopened if additional evidence is discovered.
Although the case has closed with no charges, Commonwealth’s Attorney Dan Boaz said the sheriff’s department “treated this case quite seriously, and we met with the detectives and sheriff on numerous occasions.”
“I know this is a bumpy road right now, but it’s one that will pass. And the people that are involved in it will learn from it, and they’ll do their jobs better as a result of it. And shedding light on it is always a good thing,” said Boaz.