Feds: NY schools official thought he was meeting Neenah teen for sex

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NEENAH, Wis. (WBAY) - UPDATE 1/3:

David Hay. Photo: Winnebago County Jail

A high-ranking New York Schools official has been charged with Child Enticement and Possession of Child Pornography following an undercover internet child sex sting in Neenah.

The United States Attorney's Office announced Friday that charges had been filed in federal court against David A. Hay of Brooklyn, NY.

Federal prosecutors say Hay had been chatting on a dating app with who he believed to be a 14-year-old boy named Colton. In reality, it was an undercover Neenah Police investigator.

"Hay began engaging in sexually explicit conversations with 'Colton' and making plans to meet up with the minor to engage in sexual activity," reads a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

According to a criminal complaint, Hay messaged the undercover officer on Grindr in July and asked, "Into daddies?" When the undercover officer said he was 14, Hay responded "Yea I'm good w that." Graphic sexual conversations ensued.

Hay got a "whirlpool suite" at a Neenah area hotel "for the purpose of meeting up with the child for sexual activity," reads the complaint.

"The allegations within the complaint would reference that those meetings didn't take place," said Jonathan Smith, Hay's attorney. "For whatever reason they didn't and weather it was purely fantasy talk or what have you remain to be flushed out over time."

Hay was arrested Dec. 29 at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee.

Investigators searched Hay's phone and found sexually explicit images of a former high school student in Tomah, Wis. Hay was the principal of Tomah High School from 2011-2014.

Investigators made contact with the former Tomah student who confirmed he was under the age of 18 when those photos were taken. He told officers that he never had inappropriate contact with Hay when he was a juvenile, but he may have sent the photos to Hay as an adult.

"I haven't seen the evidence and I haven't seen a photo, but the person that they identify as being the subject matter of the photo is born in 1994, which when they say it was, somehow sent or something in 2015, that would make the person 20 or 21," said Smith.

Prosecutors were not immediately available for an interview.

Investigators also found the entire text message conversation between Hay and the undercover officer posing as Colton.

"The complaint itself doesn't suggest that he, my client, actually tried to meet anyone," says attorney Jonathan Smith. "There's certainly references to conversations he purportedly had with someone who was purporting to be someone who was underage, whether that was reasonable to believe or not is something we'll have to explore."

At the time of his arrest, Hay was deputy chief of staff to New York school chancellor Richard A. Carranza. The New York Department of Education tells the New York Times that Hay was fired after the arrest.

Hay also served as an administrator at Kettle Moraine High School for several years.

Hay appeared in Green Bay's federal court Friday. He was released to live with his parents on home detention. Hay will be subject to electronic monitoring.

Hay's next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 14.

The case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel R. Humble in the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

If convicted, Hay faces 10-years-to-life in federal prison for child enticement. The child porn charge comes with a maximum 10 year sentence.

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UPDATE 1/2:

Federal charges have been filed against a New York man arrested in connection to a Winnebago County undercover internet child sex sting

Neenah Police say David Arnold Hay of Brooklyn, NY, was arrested at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee Monday.

The department says the case is now in the federal government's hands because Hay crossed state lines.

Action 2 News checked the online federal court records website but no documents were yet listed in the Hay case. The United States Attorney's Office is expected to release more information Friday.

The New York Times reports that Hay is a "high-ranking official in New York's Department of Education." He was the deputy chief of staff to New York school chancellor Richard A. Carranza.

The New York Department of Education tells the New York Times that Hay was fired after the arrest.

Hay's LinkedIn profile says he served as a high school principal in the School District of of Kettle Moraine from 2008 to 2011. He served as the high school principal of the Tomah Area School District from 2011-2014.

Hay attended UW-Stout, UW-Milwaukee, and Harvard University's Graduate School of Education.

Action 2 News will continue to update this developing story.

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INITIAL REPORT

A New York man has been arrested in connection to an undercover internet child sex sting in Winnebago County.

Neenah Police say they arrested David Arnold Hay of Brooklyn, NY, at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee Monday.

The 39-year-old was booked into the Winnebago County Jail on a charge of Use of a Computer to Facilitate a Child Sex Crime.

The New York Times reports that Hay is a "high-ranking official in New York's Department of Education." He's the deputy chief of staff to New York school chancellor Richard A. Carranza.

The New York Department of Education tells the New York Times that Hay was fired after the arrest.

Hay's LinkedIn profile says he served as a high school principal in the School District of of Kettle Moraine from 2008 to 2011. He served as the high school principal of the Tomah Area School District from 2011-2014.

Hay attended UW-Stout, UW-Milwaukee, and Harvard University's Graduate School of Education.

Neenah Police did not release further information about the crime. They said it was part of an ongoing undercover Internet Crimes Against Children Investigation.

Action 2 News has learned Hay will not make a court appearance Thursday. We'll continue to follow this developing story.