Suspended Van High principal no longer faces criminal charges, for now

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Kanawha County prosecutors say they plan to take a sex crimes case against a Boone County school principal directly to a grand jury instead of having a teenage girl on the witness stand in a lower court hearing.

A Kanawha County magistrate agreed this week with a motion from prosecutors and dismissed sexual abuse charges against suspended Van High School Principal Garth Mock, 43, of Charleston.

Prosecutors said Mock’s attorney indicated he may put one of the alleged victims, a 17-year-old girl, on the stand during Mock’s preliminary hearing in magistrate court, “a public pretrial proceeding” the motion said. The motion also said prosecutors plan to “proceed directly to the grand jury upon completion of the investigation.”

Mock was arrested April 3 on charges of engaging in sexual activity with two female students. The second alleged victim is 18. Police said the pair traveled to Charleston to attend the Rough and Rowdy Brawl in January, but instead decided to go to Mock’s Kanawha City apartment where the alleged crimes occurred.

Mock was originally released on $100,000 bond. He was placed on leave in January by the Boone County school system and later suspended without pay.