Louisville teacher faces more sex crime charges www.privateofficer.com
The judge also set a trial date of Feb. 28 for the new charge and a previous charge of harassment with physical contact.
Armstrong overruled a motion by defense attorney Robert Florio to dismiss charges against Donald K. Switzer.
The criminal complaint in June stated that Switzer “unlawfully kept the victim, a minor child, after class and asked him to remain seated at which point the defendant groped the victim’s chest/nipple area, causing the victim to feel apprehension and discomfort.” When the victim asked Switzer to stop “because he was sore,” the complaint said, “the defendant responded that the victim should not say he was sore because it makes him appear weak.”
In court, Florio argued that the touching was simply a pat on the shoulder to urge the student on to his next class.
“My client touched the alleged victim on the chest and said, ‘You better get to class,’” Florio said in court, adding that the contact lacked the “malice aforethought” and was not illegal. “If I pat you on the back in the hallway, I don’t think that that would be a crime.”
Florio also argued that Switzer kept the student in the classroom for two minutes after class ended to discuss why the student had fallen behind in class — and that this was permitted by Trinity’s student handbook. Further, Florio said Switzer’s comment about the student’s soreness was simply “good advice” to avoid taunting from other students.
After the hearing, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney David Scott said he had asked Armstrong to add the sexual abuse charge after new evidence was uncovered through investigation after the June charges, which he declined to discuss.
Court records from the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office stated that a former Trinity student alleged that Switzer had committed similar touching in the mid-1990s. On Monday, Florio said Switzer denied the allegations from the 1990s.
In court Scott said, “Either the defendant touched him to gauge how the victim would react to this type of touching or he did it for some sort of personal satisfaction.”
While the judge allowed the additional charge and overruled the defense motion for dismissal, Armstrong added “that doesn’t mean we don’t have good issues here.”
Armstrong said the “commonwealth is assuming that people only touch people for two purposes.”
Switzer did not attend the Tuesday hearing. He’d taught at Trinity since 1972, the school’s website said, and was co-chair of the foreign-languages department. He has been on leave from Trinity since February, Trinity President Rob Mullen said.
Regarding the 1990s allegations, Mullen said, “The school has no information on any claim against Mr. Switzer from that time — from before that time, at that time and after that time until this concern was raised by the student in February.”
Source:Louisville Courier Journal