Former Christian School Principal Jailed - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/29/04-Rusk County

Former Christian School Principal Jailed

A former principal at the Longview Baptist Academy is in the Rusk County Jail charged with four counts of molesting young girls.

41-year-old Russell Thomas Hirner was arrested Friday after a former student came forward claiming he molested her. Shortly after Hirner turned himself into Longview Police. At least six girls have come forward claiming Hirner also molested them.

Since the incidents allegedly occurred at the former principal's home in Kilgore, the investigation was turned over to the Rusk County Sheriff's Department. Rusk County Sheriff James Stroud said his department would continue to search for other victims and expects more charges to follow.

Officials with the Longview Baptist Temple said they were surprised by the accusations but would cooperate fully with the investigation. Hirner has not worked at the church for over a year. Officials would not comment on whether he was fired or left on his own.

Bond is expected to be set Monday.

Chris Gibson, reporting

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