Victims not happy with former PikeView teacher plea deal - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

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PRINCETON (WVVA) - -

NOTE: This report featuring victim reaction was posted in November 2013, following a guilty plea by former teacher Jonathan Kirk. On Friday that plea was rejected and the case will now go to trial.

A former teacher and coach at PikeView High School in Mercer County could be headed to prison for 20 years.

Jonathan Kirk plead guilty Tuesday morning to charges of sexual abuse and distribution of obscene materials to a minor as part of a deal with prosecutors.

However, some of the victims in this case tell us they are not happy with the agreement.

"He always told us to take it to the grave. That's the only thing he told us," says one of the victims who asked us to hide her identity as she described the inappropriate texting, touching and flirting at the hands of Jonathan Kirk. Two of the victims tell us they are disappointed they won't be telling their story in court and believe Kirk is getting off easy with the plea agreement.

"He may be getting sentenced, but I mean stuff that actually physically happened to somebody is not going to matter. That's the way I feel because I was physically touched and he just gets away with the stuff they can prove," says a victim.

"We're sitting here looking at it like why are our stories not the main ones he's getting charged for. He's getting charged for little stuff like pictures and there's definitely more physical stuff," says a victim.

Chief Assistant Prosecutor George Sitler says the victims should not be subjected to a trial, and adds the plea deal accomplishes that.

"There was no independent corroboration of any sexual contact. There was no evidence for us to submit. Mr. Kirk was clever about what he did and he used an application on his cell phone that masked all the electronic evidence," says Sitler.

He says the plea deal applies only to seven victims but adds there may be as many as 12 victims.  If one comes forward Kirk could face additional charges.

Sentencing is set for January 17th.

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