Elementary Principal Gets 43 Years In Prison For Sexually Abusing Students

A former Oregon principal was sentences to life in jail for sexually abusing students in his elementary school office.

By Erika Hanson | Published

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oregon principal

It is unnerving just how many authoritative figures, especially in education, are now found to be sexually abusing children. Although it doesn’t necessarily make the matter any less horrific once the crime has been committed, it is nice to see justice served for those found guilty of these crimes. That is exactly what happened in the case of an Oregon Principal, who just received sentencing to live out the rest of his life in prison after sexually assaulting children in his school office. 

Jeff Hays, former Damascus elementary school principal, was ordered by a Clackamas County Circuit judge to spend 43 years and nine months in state prison this past Tuesday, June 28th. Hays served as an Oregon principal to the young students of Deep Creek Elementary school from 2005 to 2009. He has been convicted of first-degree unlawful sexual penetration and six counts of sex abuse following a five-week extensive trial, according to reports from Oregon Live.

The number of teachers and school staff found sexually abusing children is becoming a major concern for parents, as each year, statistics show more and more allegations and crimes against students. Now, 1 in 10 students in America become victims of sexual abuse sometime in their school career. No child should ever have to go through what teachers, like this Oregon principal, put them through.

During the Oregon principal’s time at the school, he sexually assaulted four elementary students in his office and possibly more unknown cases. Family members and some of the victims gave testimony during the emotional trial. One student, now much older, talked about how her innocence was taken from her. Speaking directly to Hays, she told him he would now pay the price. Another one of the victim’s mothers spoke out. She told the court that her daughter still struggled to this day because of what Hays did to her. 

While these crimes happened more than a decade ago, the Oregon principal was never arrested until a year ago. However, allegations began coming out nearly six years prior. Lawsuits were filed against the school district, and the county district’s attorney originally declined to prosecute the case. But after students agreed to testify, it finally went to court, with a fourth victim coming forward last year.

With his life sentence, the Oregon principal will never be given the opportunity to lessen his time through good behavior. If he happens to make it to the age of 111, which is when he would finally finish his 43-year sentence, he would remain on probation for life. Additionally, all of the family members have announced they will seek restitution from Hays to pay for counseling fees in a separate court matter.

oregon principal

Throughout the entire weeks-long trial, the Oregon principal continuously denied any wrongdoing, never admitting guilt. But with all the testimony and evidence put forth in front of the jury, it was undeniably found that he was guilty of his accusations. Unfortunately, the four students involved in Hays’ heinous acts will likely be scarred in some way or another for the rest of their lives because of what he did to them. But hopefully, knowing that Hays will never be free to harm any child ever again will bring some solitude to his victims and their families.