Former Gardner-Edgerton High School teacher charged with sexual exploitation of a child

Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 7:28 PM CST
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GARDNER, Kan. (KCTV) - A man who taught at Gardner Edgerton High School has been charged with two counts of sexual exploitation of a child in Johnson County, Kansas.

Each count Nicholas Grey Prutsman is facing alleges the crimes involved an individual under the age of 18 and took place “on or about the 10th through 11th of December, 2022.”

A spokesperson for the district said Prutsman had worked at the high school since August 2017 as an automotive technology instructor. A letter sent to parents said:

“On December 12, 2022, the Gardner Police Department notified the District of allegations of criminal conduct against GEHS teacher Nick Prutsman. The District acted immediately to remove Mr. Prutsman from the classroom and school campus. Although not privy to the ongoing criminal investigation details, the District worked carefully, following laws and District policies, to fully cooperate with law enforcement in their investigation.

Today, January 19th, the District learned the Johnson County District Attorney’s office criminally charged Mr. Prutsman. Unfortunately, due to the pending criminal investigation and as this is a personnel matter, we cannot provide additional details. In no way does USD 231 tolerate such misconduct and acted as quickly as possible to support those involved.”

Several parents told KCTV5 they were shocked to hear of the accusations. Carrie Schmidt, whose son attends the high school, was glad the district handled the situation promptly.

“The district handled this quickly and professionally and they had the kids’ best interest at heart,” Schmidt said. “Our board was amazing.”

Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said it was important for his office to work quickly as well in order to protect students.

Prutsman’s bond had been set at $200 thousand, which was posted. Howe said that, though Prutsman had been released, he faced severe restriction and court monitoring. He said Prutsman would not be allowed internet access or contact with children. His next court appearance will be Jan. 31.

Howe added that incidents like this one highlight the importance of starting conversations with kids about their interactions with coaches, teachers and other mentors.

“Those are difficult conversations to have but there has to be a boundary between school personnel and your child,” Howe said.

Jan. 31 UPDATE: A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for early March.