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Former Hilton Principal sentenced to 63 years for sexual abuse of students

New York State Police

The former principal of an elementary school in Hilton has been sentenced to 63 years in prison after his conviction on charges relating to the ongoing abuse of students.

But due to state law, 52-year-old Kirk Ashton’s sentence will be capped at 20 years in state prison.

State Supreme Court Judge Alex Renzi handed the sentence down on Wednesday for Ashton, the former principal of Northwood Elementary School.

The Monroe County District Attorney’s office says that Ashton was convicted by a jury last month on charges relating to the ongoing sexual abuse of 21 victims. They were students at Northwood and prosecutors said the abuse happened between 2014 and 2021.

The Assistant D-A who prosecuted the case, Sara Vanstrydonck, released a statement saying that while they are pleased with original sentence of 63 years, the fact that Ashton’s sentence will be capped at 20 years “is not nearly enough for the little boys at Northwood Elementary School and their families.”

Vanstrydonck called Ashton “a monster who deserves the maximum prison sentence for the harm he has caused these young victims.”

District Attorney Sandra Doorley said that “school is one of the few places parents trust to keep their children safe. Kirk Ashton violated that trust and violated little boys.” Doorley said that Ashton’s abuse “was devastating for the victims and put an entire school and community in distress.”

The Hilton School District released this statement:

“Today’s sentencing is another step in our collective road to recovery. Nothing can undo the pain inflicted on our children, their families, and our school community, but we are grateful to prosecutors and the court for ensuring that this individual cannot harm anyone else.”

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.