Twitter asked to scrub account of Rochester principal with sex abuse charges

Monroe County

Lawyer says photos on page could show potential victims

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A group of parents and teachers are asking Twitter to take down the page of Kirk Ashton, the Hilton elementary school principal now facing multiple counts of sexual abuse with children ages 8 to 12.

One woman from this group, who did not want to go on camera, says they have reached out to Twitter multiple times to act, and nothing’s been done. The page they say features pictures Ashton took of Hilton children with captions.

One photo shows children in the snow — apparently from Ashton’s office window — and says, “Simple joys! You have to schedule them! Kindergarten students catching snowflakes outside my office window. Fun for me to watch while on Zoom.”

“Anyone watching this could get themselves kicked off Twitter inside an hour,” said attorney David Sieling with Brenna Boyce

Why could such a page be kept up after parents say they’ve reached out multiple times? “I think it is interesting whether or not determinations on what posts stay up and which posts come down are handled by people, or by algorithms,” Sieling said.

Meaning it might not be human representatives responding to complaints and actively taking down posts. “In these pictures, the children appear to be under 13. They appear to be potential victims. That’s a clear violation of Twitter’s guidelines,” he said.

The parents say Twitter needs to act.

Ashton is facing 11 counts of endangering the welfare of a child, an increase from the nine counts after two more victims came forward. Authorities say more charges are possible if more

“This guy’s posts are still there. Think of that what you will, and you need to be speaking to your representatives,” Seiling said.

Ashton is being held at the Niagara County Jail on a $500,000 cash bail, $1 million bond.

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