International Academy teacher charged with Internet sex crime
Posted March 7, 2007
Richard Joseph Krisniski
By Andrea Zarczynski
C & G Staff Writer
BLOOMFIELD HILLS — Students at the International Academy once knew Troy resident Richard Joseph Krisniski as an impeccably dressed English teacher at their school. The Bloomfield Hills Schools community — of which IA is a part — was dumbfounded to learn that Krisniski was charged on March 12 for allegedly attempting to commit an Internet sex act.
Krisniski, 47, was charged with four counts of using a computer to communicate with another to commit a crime/felony and one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. All five counts are felony charges.
An interim bond was set at $100,000 cash or surety on March 10. Krisniski was arraigned on March 12 in 41-B District Court in Clinton Township. He was suspended from employment in the school district on March 12 pending a court decision. At press time, he was retained in the Macomb County Jail.
“The kids are very shocked and surprised — they can’t associate the teacher and person they knew with the events that occurred over the past few days,” said IA Principal Bert Okma.
IA faculty and staff are working to ensure that students have the support of crisis counselors at the school. Okma said that on March 12, teachers divided students up into small groups, then shared the news.
Krisniski was arrested by officers of the Macomb Area Enforcement Team on March 9 when he was caught allegedly attempting to meet what he thought was a 14-year-old boy, but what was actually an employee of the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office.
According to Macomb County Sheriff Mark A. Hackel, Krisniski was caught communicating in a chat room online. The suspect reportedly initiated the chat, seeking to meet and engage in oral sex with the “victim.” Both parties agreed to meet at a location in Macomb County, said Hackel.
Since Jan. 1, 2006, every BHS employee is required to complete a fingerprinting process through the district. Any BHS employee hired prior to the enactment of the new law will also undergo fingerprinting. Background checks are performed on every person hired by the district, and it is reported that all checks have proved positive.
Krisniski has been an employee in the school district since 1986 and also taught Theory of Knowledge courses at IA. He has no prior criminal record, according to BHS Director of Communications and Community Relations Betsy Erikson.
BHS Superintendent of Schools Steven A. Gaynor said, “All of us were shocked, but our instinct became supporting the students and faculty … they were shocked as well.”
Any parent with questions or concerns related to the matter is advised to contact IA Principal Bert Okma at (248) 341-5900. Contact Detective Finley of the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office at (586) 416-1227.
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