‘We know there are more victims,’ sheriff says after former teacher charged with sexual assault

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office’s GHOST (Genesee Human Oppression Strike Team) team has made an arrest after a months-long investigation into a well-known t
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 9:59 AM EDT
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DAVISON, Mich. (WNEM) - The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office’s GHOST (Genesee Human Oppression Strike Team) team has made an arrest after a months-long investigation into a well-known teacher and administrator.

Eugene Pratt, 57, of Davison, was arrested by GHOST Tuesday, Aug. 16 after an investigation that began in February.

Pratt has been charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct for an incident on June 1, 2013. Investigators have reason to believe there are at least 15 victims, Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson said.

“We found that there was more victims. We found victims’ names and we went on an active search to find them. Now, many times these victims, they’re scared to come forward,” Swanson said.

Swanson said all of the victims are young males ranging from their teens to their early 20s.

“Many of the victims, we don’t even know their names, we just know there are more victims,” Swanson said. “We don’t know when it started, but we do know it continued over decades.”

One adult male victim has come forward so far.

“A potential pattern of using positions of authority in a school setting to victimize vulnerable people, kids, students, inner-city students,” Swanson said.

Pratt’s education career began in 1986 at Beecher Community Schools where he was a student teacher. From there, he went on to Kearsley Community Schools, Hamady Community Schools, and Grand Blanc Community Schools where he served as a substitute teacher. After that, he worked as a teacher at Kearsley Community Schools until June 1999. He then worked at the Davison Athletic Club, and Hamady Middle and High School before returning to Beecher Community Schools in 2006 where he served as principal for Beecher Adult and Alternative Education until 2013.

“This is what tipped the scale for us,” Swanson said.

While Pratt worked at Beecher Adult and Alternative Education, three civil cases were brought forward against him. They were all settled with non-disclosure agreements.

“If you have, whether its Eugene Pratt or anybody else withheld information, where victims could have been exonerated, could have been set free, could have had their voices heard, then you are culpable,” Swanson said.

Swanson said Pratt also worked in education in Hamtramck, outside of Detroit, as well as at New Paths, an organization that helps young people recover from addiction.

New Paths issued the following statement:

“We were saddened and dismayed to hear about these charges and are fully cooperating with the investigation. Mr. Pratt is not employed by New Paths, Inc. and our thoughts and prayers go out to anyone impacted by this.

If you have been the victim of a crime or know someone who has please encourage them to seek help.

New Paths, Inc. has no additional comment at this time.”

“Individuals that put themselves in supervisory positions, they do that - if they’re a predator - to have access to prey,” Swanson said.

Pratt is the son of late Greater Flint Area Sports Hall of Fame football coach Jack Pratt. Swanson said Pratt’s entire family is devastated. Swanson hopes more people will come forward by putting this information out there.

“It could trigger something where people think ‘wait a second, that was a pivot point when my school and soul came forward,’” Swanson said.

Pratt has been given a $25,000 cash bond with tether. As of Aug. 18, he was still in jail.

Swanson said tips have been pouring in from around the country.

If you know someone who may be a victim, contact Victim Services at 810-257-3422 or the YMCA Flint Victim Advocacy at 810-238-7233.