Thorndike college principal charged with sexually touching minor

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 a warrant was issued for his arrest, 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, nor is he allowed to have unsupervised contact with girls under the age of 16. years, said Lt. Chris Read.

Holinger has been placed on administrative leave from 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 reporter for the Bangor Daily News.

“[He] has been advised that he is not to have any contact with students at RSU 3 or enter the grounds of RSU 3,” Brown said in an email Thursday to students, parents and other members of the school district. “RSU 3 takes these allegations very seriously and will take all necessary steps to ensure the safety and protection of its students.”

Counselors will be made available to 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 investigator in December, the documents show.

Holinger posted $1,000 cash bond after being arrested, according to Read. He is due to make his first appearance at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, February 18 at the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta.

Holinger is the principal of the college, which has been serving nearly 300 RSU 3 students, 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 first-grade science teacher at Old Orchard Beach High School and Lewiston High School. Most recently, he served as Principal of Kennebec Montessori School in Fairfield.

Brown said he had just learned of the arrest and was reviewing 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 furloughed, he replied that it was a personnel matter.

“Everything is fresh right now,” he said. “We will deal with it appropriately.”

Holinger is also chairman and treasurer of the board of the Maine Youth Alliance, a non-profit organization based in Belfast that advocates for young people in the community. Ray Estabrook, the organization’s co-executive director, said Thursday night he had no comment on Holinger.

“Obviously we’re very concerned, but we’re not going to rely on our judgement,” Estabrook said. “We just have to wait and see. Our actions will be guided by the actions of the school district.

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