If you or someone you know needs resources or support related to sexual violence, contact the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s 24/7 hotline at 800-871-7741.
The principal of Mount View Middle School in Thorndike was arrested this week and charged with three counts of unlawful sexual touching of a minor.
David A. Holinger, 41, of Belgrade, was taken into custody Tuesday by the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office after an arrest warrant was issued for him, according to a police official.
According to the bail conditions set for Holinger, he is not allowed to have direct or indirect contact with the victim and also is not allowed to have unsupervised contact with girls under the age of 16, Lt. Chris Read said.
Holinger has been placed on administrative leave from the school pending the results of Regional School Unit 3’s investigation into the allegations, according to Superintendent Charles Brown. He learned of the arrest Thursday morning from a Bangor Daily News reporter.
“[He] has been informed that he is to have no contact with any RSU 3 students or enter RSU 3 grounds,” Brown said in an email sent Thursday to the students, parents and other members of the school district. “RSU 3 takes these allegations extremely seriously and will take all actions necessary in order to ensure that its students are safe and protected.”
Counselors will be made available for students and staff, he said.
The victim is not a Mount View Middle School student, according to the affidavit. The abuse happened in a home when Holinger was intoxicated, the victim told a forensic interviewer in December, according to the documents.
Holinger posted $1,000 cash bail after being arrested, according to Read. He is scheduled to make his first appearance at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 18, at the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta.
Holinger has served as the principal of the middle school, which serves almost 300 students in RSU 3, since 2019, according to Penobscot Bay Pilot. The school district includes the communities of Brooks, Freedom, Jackson, Knox, Liberty, Monroe, Montville, Thorndike, Troy, Unity and Waldo.
Previously, Holinger worked as a freshman science teacher at Old Orchard Beach High School and Lewiston High School. Most recently, he served as the Head of School for the Kennebec Montessori School in Fairfield.
Brown said he had just learned about the arrest and was looking into the matter with the school resource officer, law enforcement and the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. At that time, when asked if Holinger had been placed on leave, he said that it is a personnel matter.
“Everything’s fresh right now,” he said. “We will deal with it appropriately.”
Holinger also serves as the president and treasurer of the board of the Maine Youth Alliance, a Belfast-based non-profit organization that advocates for youth in the community. Ray Estabrook, the executive co-director of the organization, said Thursday evening that he had no comment about Holinger.
“Obviously we’re very concerned, but we’re not going to rest in judgment,” Estabrook said. “We just have to wait and see. Our actions will be guided by the school district’s actions.”