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Principal to face assault charges

The Nicholas County High School principal who was suspended after an altercation with a student last week has been charged with fourth-degree assault, Montgomery County jail officials said.

Joseph Orazen, 35, of Carlisle, turned himself in at the Carlisle Police Department about 6 p.m. Wednesday after a warrant was issued for his arrest, said police Chief William Denton. An officer called Orazen, who agreed to come to the station.

Orazen was released from the Montgomery County jail on a $7,500 cash bond Wednesday evening. He is scheduled to appear in court March 4.

Reached at his home Thursday morning, Orazen said, "It's not what it looks like." After saying that at some point everyone will know what really happened, Orazen declined to comment further.

On Wednesday, Nicholas County schools released a statement saying Orazen had been suspended. Orazen had been on administrative leave since last week, shortly after the altercation with Nicholas County High School student Dusty Green, 15.

School officials declined to discuss any details about Orazen's suspension. District officials released a statement saying, "Mr. Joe Orazen is suspended, and he has a right to request a hearing from the Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Education."

Green was suspended for 10 days after the incident, according to his mother, Michelle Green of Carlisle.

Green said Thursday that she expected a more serious charge. But now that Orazen has been criminally charged, she wants him prohibited from being around children. "I'd like for him to be convicted," she said.

Harrison County Attorney Charles Kuster, who has been appointed special prosecutor, said the evidence presented to him, including bruises, abrasions and the fact that no weapon was involved, resulted in the fourth-degree assault charge.

On Tuesday, WLEX-TV (Channel 18) released surveillance footage, saying it arrived in an unmarked package. The video shows an outdoor confrontation between a male student and a man, whom WLEX reporters identified as Orazen and Dusty Green. The footage shows the man wrapping his arms around the student, scooping him up and slamming him to the ground.

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