Update Dec. 18, 2019: Since this story was originally published, the link to the Federal Bureau of Investigation affidavit concerning Gladys Jung Elementary School Principal Chris Carmichael has been removed from the KYUK website due to explicit content. This article has been revised and expanded to provide the public with more details of the evidence presented in that affidavit.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has charged Gladys Jung Elementary School Principal Chris Carmichael, age 55, with attempted transfer of obscene material to a minor and attempted coercion and enticement of a minor. The FBI, in conjunction with Bethel police, arrested Carmichael in Bethel on Dec. 10.
According to an affidavit released by the FBI, Bethel police began investigating Carmichael on June 17, 2019, when a former Gladys Jung student told police that Carmichael had inappropriately touched her after she had graduated but was still a minor. The victim alleged that Carmichael would touch her inside the janitor’s closets, gym closet, and Carmichael’s office at the Gladys Jung school, often after other school staff had left the building. According to the affidavit, Carmichael told the victim that “they needed to stay outside of the camera view so no one would think he was doing anything crazy.”
In the affidavit, the victim claims that Carmichael gave her his cell phone number. She says they would talk on the phone, and he told her to call him “daddy.” Carmichael, in the affidavit, told her “they had to be careful because people would suspect something bad was going on when it was really nothing.”
After talking with the victim and the victim’s mother, Acting Bethel Police Chief Amy Davis secured a Glass warrant to record communication with Carmichael. Davis, acting in an undercover capacity, took over the victim’s Facebook Messenger account and began chatting with Carmichael. According to the affidavit, during these chats, Carmichael wrote “IWU,” “IMU,” and “ILU,” acronyms for “I want you,” “I miss you,” and “I love you.”
In November, the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force joined Bethel Police on the case. Davis, posing as the victim, introduced Carmichael to an undercover FBI agent who was posing as the victim’s 13-year-old cousin living in Anchorage and having trouble with her parents.
On Nov. 30, the FBI agent began texting with Carmichael, whose iMessage chat linked to his work email with the Lower Kuskokwim School District. The next day, on Dec. 1, Carmichael continued texting the fictional cousin of the victim, turning the conversation sexual. According to the affidavit, the communication “remained primarily sexual in focus” from this point forward.
Over the coming days, Carmichael described sexual acts he wanted them to do together and said that he wanted to videotape the acts. He repeatedly told her he loved her and was helping her, and that she was “never alone now” because she had him “for support, for help." According to the affidavit, he told her, “I love you exactly how you are and exactly how old you are. You are perfect for me.”
Carmichael explained to her that he would refer to her as 18-years-old so “if anyone did get into my messages I could say well, I misunderstood,” according to the affidavit. He told her to call him “daddy” and referred to her as his “naughty little girl.” He described wanting to take her to the Victoria's Secret lingerie store and pretend she was his daughter.
According to the affidavit, Carmichael told her that “daughters often fantasize about their fathers and fathers fantasize about their daughters. He stated this is ‘natural’ and ‘normal’ but ‘society has built rules against it.’”
Carmichael reminded the fictional 13-year-old many times to delete their messages and phone log. Carmichael told her, according to the affidavit, that “this was their secret and not to tell anyone.” Before a trip to Anchorage, he asked her if there was a motel near her home within walking distance. Then, during the trip, he said that he was not able to meet with her because he was with his family. Instead, Carmichael asked her to send him a picture of her in a bikini or underwear. The agent sent Carmichael a photo of this nature that did not identify a child. Later, the agent, posing as the 13-year-old girl, asked Carmichael to send her a picture of him. He sent her a picture of him as a younger man, holding a small child, and then asked her to delete the photo.
At one point, Carmichael included the initial victim into this text string and described sexual acts he wanted the three of them to do together.
Bethel Acting Police Chief Amy Davis, posing as the victim who reported Carmichael in June, Facebook Messaged Carmichael, saying she was going to be staying at a Bethel hotel on or about Dec. 10. Carmichael asked her to call him from a landline when she arrived in Bethel.
On Dec. 10, the victim placed a recorded phone call to Carmichael where they discussed meeting at a hotel, and he described what he wanted them to do together. After this phone call, the FBI executed search warrants of Carmichael’s residence, person, and school office. Then they arrested him.
In an interview with FBI, the affidavit states that Carmichael admitted to FBI agents that he was sexually attracted to children, "in particular children who are beginning puberty and pubescent." Carmichael also “accepted responsibility for initiating the inappropriate relationships with the minors. He stated he understood it was both wrong and illegal.”
Carmichael remains in federal custody. If convicted of the two charges, Carmichael faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years to life in prison.
The following resources are available to community members for emotional support during this time:
- LKSD Lead Social Worker: (907) 543-4874 or (907) 545-4429
- Bethel Family Clinic: (907) 543-3773
- YKHC Behavioral Health Department: (907) 543-6100
Additionally, any person with information regarding the criminal investigation of Carmichael is encouraged to contact the FBI at (907) 276-4441.