Ex-New Haven Middle School principal accused of sexual relationship with student

Crime

Suspect drove girl to Chicago for abortion, court records show

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — A former principal of New Haven Middle School has been arrested on allegations he had a sexual relationship with a high school student years ago.

Peter A. Downey, 58, faces two counts of felony Child Seduction. He was arrested Wednesday.

Peter Downey

According to a probable cause affidavit filed Thursday in Allen Superior Court, Downey first kissed the girl in his office at New Haven Middle School when she was 16, and had sex with her for the first time three months later in his mother’s home. From there, they had sex in various hotels in Fort Wayne and his own home, as well as the middle school building, the affidavit detailed.

The victim told investigators that Downey impregnated her in 2008 when she was 17 when she worked for him as an extern at the middle school. In September of that year, the victim said Downey drove her to a Planned Parenthood in Chicago to get an abortion when she was just shy of 6 weeks pregnant, according to the affidavit.

The victim said she told her friends she was dating a man named “D.” Two friends of the victim told police they were suspicious of the relationship, the affidavit said.

Police said in the affidavit that the victim provided “numerous items of corroborating evidence” including calendars and student handbooks that noted dates like “first kiss,” the first time they had sex and trips, the affidavit said. She also had medical records from Planned Parenthood with her name and Downey’s written on them, the affidavit detailed.

Downey’s ex-wife corroborated many of the allegations made by the victim, the affidavit said. She told investigators that when she was giving birth to the couple’s daughter, Downey was supposed to be at a conference in Indianapolis but was actually at a hotel with the victim and turned his phone off, according to the affidavit. She also said the number listed on Planned Parenthood records was the landline to the couple’s home.

Contact between the victim and Downey stopped in February 2013. On Christmas Eve 2014, he mailed a letter to her in which he apologized for ending the relationship “the way he did,” and signed it “Love Pete,” the affidavit said.

It’s not clear why it took so long to charge and arrest Downey.

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