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Public Safety

Christopher Carmichael's Federal And State Sentencing Hearings Scheduled For July

Gladys Jung Elementary School in Bethel, Alaska.
Christine Trudeau

Former Bethel elementary school principal Christopher Carmichael’s federal and state sentencing hearings have both been rescheduled for early July 2021. They were initially scheduled for June. 

Both federal and state sentencing hearings are set to occur on July 13. Carmichael, age 57, has pleaded guilty to a federal charge of attempted coercion and enticement of a minor, and a state charge of sexual abuse of minor in the second degree. All other federal and state charges against him have been dropped in the plea agreements.

For the federal charge, Carmichael faces 10 years to life in prison. For the state charge, Carmichael has agreed to a sentence of 25 years, with 10 years suspended on probation. Carmichael was arrested by the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force in 2019.

In a written apology and affidavit submitted to the state court, Carmichael admitted that he sexually abused two underage girls, and said that he was sorry for his actions. In that affidavit, he also stated that the Lower Kuskokwim School District and superintendent were “well aware of my problems with young girls.” He wrote that in 2015, the school principal at Goodnews Bay, where Carmichael had worked, had reported him for inappropriate behavior with students. 

Carmichael was also the subject of two law enforcement investigations before 2019 for inappropriate relations with students. Both times, law enforcement agencies informed LKSD.

During a previous investigation by KYUK, Anchorage Daily News, and ProPublica, former LKSD Superintendent Dan Walker wrote in an email to reporters that law enforcement investigations of Carmichael prior to 2019 had not resulted in any charges. Walker wrote that LKSD saw nothing that put a child at risk.

Attorneys for four girls are suing the school district, claiming that LKSD failed to protect them from sexual abuse at Carmichael’s hands. Jury trials for those lawsuits are scheduled for this fall.


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