BJH choir director guilty of harassment

Garry Kirk, 63.
Dana Guthrie
Staff Writer

A Benton Junior High School choir director has been sentenced to one year of probation after being found guilty of Class A misdemeanor of harassment stemming from an incident with a female student, according to the Saline County prosecutor's office.

Garry David Kirk, 63, of Benton, was found guilty April 9 after pleading no contest to the charge. In addition to probation, Kirk received a suspended 30-day jail sentence. He will also be required to pay court costs and fees.

“These are the types of offenders that do not need to be working with children,” said Prosecuting Attorney Ken Casady. “I appreciate the efforts of the Benton Police Department.”

The charge was based on a complaint from a student who stated that Kirk touched and rubbed her back and buttocks area. Benton Police began an investigation in November 2017 after reports of similar allegations made by multiple female students. The students did not feel comfortable going to class or being around Kirk because of his actions, according to Casady.

Kirk was placed on administrative leave by the district at the time of his court appearance.

As of press time, it was unknown if he is still employed by the district following his conviction.