New York education leader appears on child sex crime charge

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — A high-ranking New York City education official accused of swapping online messages with an undercover police officer posing as a 14-year-old boy and reserving a whirlpool suite in Wisconsin for a sexual encounter was released Friday on a promise to appear.

David Hay, 39, is charged in federal court with child enticement and possession of child pornography. A judge in Green Bay set a preliminary hearing for Jan. 14 and placed Hay on electronic home monitoring. Hay was arrested Sunday at Milwaukee's General Mitchell International Airport.

Hay's attorney, Jonathan Smith, of Milwaukee, told The Associated Press he has yet to review all the evidence but has noticed some “oddities” in what he's seen so far.

“It raises a lot of questions," Smith said. “We are going to be looking at that in earnest.”

Hay, of Brooklyn, New York, was serving as deputy chief of staff for Richard Carranza, the schools chancellor for New York City's Department of Education, when he was arrested. The New York City Department of Education fired Hay following his arrest.

Matthew Krueger, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, said in a statement Friday that Hay began corresponding in July on a dating app with someone he believed was a 14-year-old boy living in Neenah, Wisconsin. That person was actually an undercover police investigator.

Hay and the investigator traded sexually explicit conversations for months and made plans to meet for sex, according to court documents unsealed Friday.

Hay eventually reserved a whirlpool suite at a Neenah hotel for an encounter with the boy on Saturday night. He canceled the meeting at the last minute, however, messaging the investigator, who was still posing as the boy, that his mother had fallen down the stairs and that he was scheduled to fly out of the state on Sunday.

A search of Hay's phone revealed sexually explicit images of a former Tomah, Wisconsin, high school student, according to court documents and the U.S. attorney's statement. Hay served as principal at Tomah High School from 2011 to 2014. Prior to that he was an administrator at Kettle Moraine High School in southeastern Wisconsin.

Hay faces between 10 years and life in prison if he's convicted of facilitating a child sex crime. He faces up to 10 years behind bars if he's convicted of the child pornography count.

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