WATCH: Sheriff releases video in hopes of identifying possible sexual assault victim

Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson has released a video of a potential victim of sexual assault.
Published: Aug. 19, 2022 at 12:29 PM EDT
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GENESEE CO., Mich. (WNEM) - Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson has released a video of a potential victim of sexual assault.

The video, which is a surveillance video taken on Oct. 24, 2019 inside the Goodwill store in Burton, was discovered while the sheriff’s office was investigating 57-year-old Eugene Pratt, a former mid-Michigan educator accused of sexually assaulting a former student.

The video was taken by a loss prevention officer at Goodwill who was suspicious of Pratt’s behavior, Swanson said.

The video stops before Pratt put his hand in his pants and began pleasuring himself inside the store, Swanson said.

Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson has released a video of a potential victim of sexual assault.

“In this particular incident, you’ll see he’s got a long history of doing this. I mean, this is a daytime business that’s operating in a mall,” Swanson said.

Pratt was arrested on Aug. 16 and charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct for an incident on June 1, 2013.

Since Pratt’s arrest, the sheriff’s office’s GHOST (Genesee Human Oppression Strike Team) team has received 31 tips from across the country on Pratt.

The tips have confirmed multiple victims going back as far as 1992 with a high probability of additional victims, the sheriff’s office said.

Swanson said Pratt was an expert at grooming young people. He would earn their trust and fill a void, which ultimately led to sexual advances, Swanson said.

Pratt would start by taking the boys to get ice cream, sending them personal letters, and giving them $100 in birthday cards, Swanson said.

“This is the 90s and that’s a lot of money,” Swanson said.

Swanson said he predicts more cases against Pratt will be brought to Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton.

“We’re getting tips that he would go and meet students at their home, but in their bedroom. And these are inappropriate places to be for anybody,” Swanson said.

Swanson believes most of the alleged incidents took place off school grounds, like the video from the Goodwill store. He hopes the young man in the video will come forward and tell him what he remembers from that day.

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.

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.

“He’s still in jail now. He’s still locked up. He still has a bond, but he’s not tethered out to anyone. So he’s not a threat as of right this moment,” Swanson said.

Pratt is being held on a $25,000 bond with a tether.

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.