High School Principal Found Guilty in Rape Case

Santa Barbara County – In spite of otherwise stellar personal and professional reputations within the Santa Maria community, St. Joseph High School Principal Joe Myers and former Dean of Students John Walker–described during court proceedings by Deputy District Attorney Anne Nudson as “great guys”—have been found guilty by a jury of having failed to properly report information regarding the alleged sexual assault of a 16-year-old student at the school by a pair of 18-year-old former students.

The case, which commenced on September 24th and was heard by a jury in the courtroom of Judge Edward Bullard, centered around Myers’ and Walker’s defense claim that they had not witnessed any physical evidence of the assault on the victim, and that the victim’s mother had indicated that she had already notified the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department of the incident.

Defense attorney Michael Scott, in making his closing statement to the jury had said “This is a case of two good men making a decision to protect a young girl. Mr. Myers did the right thing given the totality of the evidence.”  For her part, Deputy District Attorney Nudson argued that her case had little to do with “passion, prejudice, or bias,” and that the facts of the case needed to be strictly measured by the legal statute requiring the reporting of sexual abuse to authorities.  “They knew what their duties were and they chose not to do their duties,” she declared to the jury.

In applying the facts of the case to the legal standard presented by Nudson, the nine-man, three-woman jury returned a verdict of guilty to the charge of failing to report information of sexual assault upon a minor.  At the reading of the verdict, the victim of the assault wept.  Both Myers and Walker are due to return to court on October 30th for sentencing, and each faces up to six months in County Jail and $1000 in fines.

Read more:

Santa Maria Times: Jury Finds St. Joe Officials Guilty

Santa Barbara Independent: Educators Charged for Not Reporting Sexual Abuse

High School Principal Found Guilty in Rape Case was last modified: October 5th, 2012 by admin
Categories: Santa Barbara

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