Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Thursday

January 9, 2014

Accused tutor had easy access to school in Traverse City

TRAVERSE CITY — A private voice tutor accused of having sexual contact with a Traverse City West Senior High School was a familiar face to students, teachers, parents and staff.

Jayme Jay Kratky, 33, of Traverse City, frequently held voice lessons in the school before his Dec. 13 arrest on a third-degree criminal sexual conduct charge. But Kratky’s name doesn’t show up on the school’s guest log, offering no clear picture of how often he walked its halls.

Traverse City Area Public Schools Superintendent Steve Cousins said Kratky went through the school’s music program and was “so well-known” among parents and teachers that he didn’t sign his name during visits, despite being a private instructor and not a paid employee.

“It won’t show up on the sheets because they weren’t following the policy,” Cousins said.

Kratky is scheduled for an 86th District Court court hearing today at 11 a.m. on a third-degree criminal sexual conduct charge. The preliminary exam originally was scheduled for Dec. 30, but Grand Traverse County prosecutors asked for additional time to investigate.

Third-degree criminal sexual conduct is a relatively new law that requires that a suspect used their position of authority “to gain access to or to establish a relationship” with a victim under the age of 18.

Police arrested Kratky after several female TC West students who hired him for private voice lessons told administrators he sent them inappropriate text and Facebook messages. A police report obtained by the Record-Eagle details a 16-year-old female pupil’s account of events leading to a sexual encounter at Kratky’s Wadsworth Street home during the summer.

The victim told detectives that Kratky’s inappropriate behavior started in the spring -- he sent her “so many texts she could not remember” and began kissing and touching her during voice lessons at his home. She said she felt forced into a sexual encounter.

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