Ex-Utica band director arraigned on sex assault charges

The Detroit News

A former Macomb County high school band director was arraigned Friday on a second set of charges alleging inappropriate sexual contact and communication with students.

Christopher Traskal, 42, of Sterling Heights, who was a teacher in the Utica Community Schools for 18 years, was formally charged in 41-A District Court in Sterling Heights on two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, a two-year felony.

Christopher Traskal.

Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith has said that in 2011, Traskal took a former student, who was in middle school, to his home, tried to give her alcohol and then sexually assaulted her.

Traskal was given a $50,000 bond, 10% payable, and scheduled to return to the Sterling Heights court at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 27 for a probable cause conference.

In the other case, Traskal, who was band director at Eisenhower High School, is accused of sending emails of a sexual and inappropriate nature to a student in Shelby Township over a period of several months. He also allegedly had in-school conversations and interactions with the student that were inappropriate.

He was arraigned Thursday in 41-A District Court in Shelby Township with one count of sexually abusive activity and using a computer to commit a crime.Both charges are 20-year felonies.

Macomb County sheriff's deputies took their first report regarding Traskal October, which stated that he was sending sexually inappropriate emails to a student.

Macomb Area Computer Enforcement detectives executed search warrants on multiple electronic devices and found several emails where the teacher solicited the 17-year-old female, the sheriff's office said.

During their investigation, a second female came forward in November and reported that she was a former student of the same teacher in 2009. The former student provided police with documentation and stated that he had touched her inappropriately on two occasions.

Both students told officers they had difficulty coming forward because of his status with the school.

The allegations against Traskal are the second involving an Eisenhower staff member to be reported this month. 

Ninth-grade girls basketball coach Dave Willman was fired from his coaching position for allegedly sending inappropriate text messages to players, Eisenhower Principal Jared McEvoy said in a letter to school parents last week.

Willman has not been charged but an investigation is ongoing, according to the Macomb County Prosecutor's Office.