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December 17, 2013

UPDATE: Police say 6 students came forward against tutor

TRAVERSE CITY — A private voice tutor’s “inappropriate” text messages to six Traverse City West Senior High students spurred the investigation into allegations he had sexual contact with at least one pupil, authorities said.

Traverse City police arrested Jayme Jay Kratky, 33, of Traverse City, on Friday after he confessed to sexual contact with a 16-year-old female TC West student. Kratky claimed a sex addiction was to blame for his behavior, said Capt. Mike Ayling.

Kratky spent the weekend in Grand Traverse County’s jail on a third-degree criminal sexual conduct charge and was arraigned Monday in 86th District Court. Grand Traverse County Assistant Prosecutor Noelle Moeggenberg said the investigation is still in its “early stages.”

“We don’t have any police reports,” Moeggenberg said. “I know they’re trying to schedule more interviews for the rest of this week.”

Ayling said six of Kratky’s pupils, all female TC West students, walked into the principal’s office Friday morning and reported Kratky sent them “inappropriate” texts, including pictures. He said investigation found Kratky had sexual contact with one pupil during the summer in Kratky’s home.

Prosecutors charged Kratky with third-degree criminal sexual conduct -- a relatively new law that requires a suspect use their position of authority “to gain access to or to establish a relationship” with a victim under the age of 18.

Kratky worked as a private voice coach and didn’t work as a paid or contractual Traverse City Area Public Schools employee, said TCAPS’ executive director for human resources Christine Davis.

Kratky’s attorney, Paul Jarboe, said he’d need to review if the facts of the case fit the law.

“Before everyone rushes to judgement, we need to take a good look at what the law says,” he said.

Jarboe said he couldn’t comment on specifics until the police finish their reports and he can conduct his own investigation. He said he wasn’t aware that Kratky made any sort of confession or mentioned a problem with sex addiction.

“At this point, we only have accusations,” Jarboe said.

Eighty-sixth District Court Judge Michael Stepka on Monday set a 10 percent $30,000 bond -- a reduction from the original $250,000 cash surety bond -- with conditions that bar Kratky from having contact with anyone under the age of 18.

Kratky posted bond and was released from jail Monday afternoon. A preliminary examination is scheduled for Dec. 30 at 11:30 a.m.

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