SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Christopher Traskal was arraigned on Thursday for allegedly sending lewd emails and inappropriately touching students. Both had been too scared until recently to come forward because of his status in the community.
Traskal is facing charges in two cases for child sexually abusive activity, communicating with another to commit crime, and two counts of criminal sexual conduct - forced coercion. All four counts are felonies, though he will be tried in two separate cases.
The former Eisenhower High School teacher was first accused of sending a female student sexually-explicit emails. Macomb Area Computer Enforcement (MACE) was able to execute a search warrant, finding emails between the teacher and the 17-year-old girl.
When the media got a hold of this story, another victim got the courage to speak out about her experiences with Traskal's alleged advances. The second young woman was a student of Traskal's in 2009. She has been able to submit documentation that he made inappropriate comments to her and told police the former teacher had touched her inappropriate twice.
Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham is encouraging any victim of sexual assault or harassment to come forward, no matter the perceived consequences. He joins many in law enforcement and the media in reminding parents of the importance of speaking to children, even into their teenage years, about adopting their own zero-tolerance policy for unwanted advances or comments.
“It is important that we teach our children to speak up when suspicious behavior is occurring." Wickersham put in a statement about the case. "We want to stress that parents sit down with their children and not only talk about their day but the people that they come into contact with as well. Discuss the different trusted adults they can confide in which may include parents, a friend’s parents, school counselors and resource officers, and tip lines such as OK2Say, etc.”