More sexual assault charges laid against Hamilton middle school principal

Damir Ivankovic, who was the principal at Ryerson Middle School, has been charged with two more counts of sexual assault, two counts of sexual interference and assault for alleged incidents involving female students during the 2017-2018 school year.

Alleged incidents involved female students during 2017-2018 school year

Hamilton police say further sexual assault charges have been laid against a middle school principal after an appeal for victims to come forward. (Dan Taekema/CBC)

More sexual assault charges have been laid against a Hamilton middle school principal after new allegations surfaced.

Damir Ivankovic, who was the principal at Ryerson Middle School, was first charged with sexual assault in August. At that time police issued an appeal for any other alleged victims to come forward. On Thursday investigators say he was arrested and the following charges were added.

  • Two counts of sexual assault.
  • Two counts of sexual interference.
  • Assault.

Police say the incidents that led to the most recent charges happened during the 2017 and 2018 school year and involved female students who attended the middle school.

Ivankovic has been working from home since Jan. 9 when the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) first learned about the allegations.

The 54-year-old Stoney Creek man has worked at the HWDSB since 2003 and at Ryerson since 2014, the board said. He's also been a principal at Rosedale Elementary School and Viscount Montgomery Elementary School.

In a letter to families, Sue Dunlop, superintendent of student achievement at the HWDSB, said the board takes safety seriously.

"We know how important it is for families to feel confident that children are well cared for and protected while they are at school," she wrote. "We want to assure you that Ryerson continues to be a safe place for your child to learn and grow."

The board has co-operated with police and has now received clearance to carry out its own employee investigation into the allegations, Dunlop added.

Ryerson is attended by students in Grades 6 to 8.

"If you are a survivor of child sexual abuse or sexual assault, remember the abuse was not your fault and there is no time limit on reporting the abuse to police," said Dunlop.

Her letter states police are asking any additional victims to come forward by calling Det. Harold Harris from the Child Abuse Unit at 905-540-6253. Information can be provided anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or sending in tips online at www.crimestoppershamilton.com.