Nov. 1, 2007 — -- The principal at a Kentucky Catholic school is taking personal leave from his job after police in Louisville allegedly found him dressed as a woman and wearing bondage gear inside his car in a seedy part of town.
Paul A. Schum, 50, was cited for loitering for the purpose of prostitution late Tuesday by Louisville Metro police. Officers allege that they came across the educator inside his parked car when patrolling the neighborhood known for prostitution and narcotics.
Upon approaching the vehicle, police discovered Schum, principal at Bethlehem High School, in full costume, according to Officer Phil Russell, a spokesman for the Louisville Metro Police Department.
"He was wearing an all-black, leather, woman's outfit, fishnet stockings and women's black plastic breasts," Russell said, describing the part of town where Schum was found as "a problem area" for prostitution and drugs.
Schum, who, according to his Bethlehem Web site bio, is a chemistry teacher with more than 25 years of experience, a master's degree in teaching and a doctorate in education, denied the allegations through the Archdiocese of Louisville, which oversees Bethlehem High.
The archdiocese statement, released Wednesday, also indicated that the branch of the church, which includes more than 200,000 Catholics, would conduct its own probe into the misdemeanor prostitution citation. "Per our policy, Dr. Schum has requested and is taking personal leave from his position as principal of Bethlehem High School pending the outcome of the investigation," according to the statement.
A man reached at Schum's Louisville address today hung up on a call from ABC News.
Officer Russell said that the officers who came across Schum were aware it's the Halloween season, but became suspicious when Schum offered them conflicting stories about why he was parked in the alley dressed as a woman.
Schum was not arrested, but will be required to appear in court Nov. 27 to face the misdemeanor charge.
Bethlehem is one of 48 schools, including nine high schools, overseen by the Archdiocese of Louisville. The coed, 9-12 school currently enrolls 284 students.