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Former New Haven Middle School principal accused of child seduction in relationship dating back to 2008

Published: Dec. 30, 2021 at 11:36 AM EST
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - A former principal of New Haven Middle School is accused of seducing and impregnating a New Haven High School student more than a decade ago.

According to probable cause documents, Peter Downey, 58, is facing two child seduction charges for actions that date back to February of 2008. The charges were filed Thursday morning.

One of the charges is for Child Seduction, a Class D Felony related to sexual intercourse and/or other sexual conduct for actions he’s accused of committing from April 1, 2008, to May 3, 2009, documents say.

Court documents say the second Child Seduction Count is also a Class D Felony related to fondling that Downey is accused of committing from February 8, 2008, to May 3, 2009. Downey is accused of seducing the New Haven High School student, who was 16 at the time, while he was employed as principal of New Haven Middle School, court documents say.

The documents say Downey and the student began the relationship with hugs and kisses in his office and the relationship eventually evolved into sexual encounters at a hotel in Fort Wayne, Downey’s mother’s home, Downey’s home, and at the former location of New Haven Middle School.

The woman became pregnant by Downey in 2008 when she was 17 years old. Downey later drove the victim to a Planned Parenthood location in Chicago where she had an abortion.

Police say the victim turned 18 on May 3, 2009, and the relationship continued until February 2013, according to the PC. Downey is also accused of sending the victim a letter in 2014 apologizing for the way he ended the relationship, signing the letter “Love Pete.” Online court records indicate Downey’s initial hearing is scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

EACS spokesperson Tamyra Kelly says Downey was employed at the district from August 1998 to March 2012.

“He was a teacher, assistant principal, and principal during his time in the District,” Kelly said. “EACS had no prior knowledge of the allegations against Mr. Downey and plans to cooperate fully with the authorities if requested.”

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