An almost five-month investigation into claims that a student teacher had inappropriately touched children at a preschool in Manhattan ended last week with the dismissal of all criminal charges, the New York Times reported.
An assistant district attorney asked Justice Gregory Carro to disimiss the charges against the student teacher, Malthe Thomsen, the New York Times reported. “We have determined that we cannot prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt,” the prosecutor, Rachel Ferrari, said.
Thomsen, 22, was arrested on sexual abuse charges on June 27 after a teacher at the International Preschools on East 45th Street reported him to the police.
During a seven-hour interrogation, Thomsen made statements to the detectives that prosecutors have characterized as a confession, but that he maintains were false and coerced.
The prosecutor told Justice Carro her office “found no evidence that the defendant’s statements were improperly obtained or that they were false.” But she said investigators also had failed to uncover any other evidence against Thomsen, and his words alone were not enough to convict him.
In May, an assistant teacher at the school reported in an email to a supervisor that Thomsen was having children place their hands on his groin and was touching girls under their dresses. The school conducted an internal investigation but found no evidence to support the allegations, school officials said.
On June 5, the school fired the teacher who made the report. A few days later, she took her accusations to the police and turned over 10 videos she had made of Mr. Thomsen in the classroom, prompting the inquiry.
My heart goes out to all of the families who were involved in this investigation and who feared that their children may have been victims.
As a civil attorney for victims of sexual abuse, I know that the criminal justice system can be both empowering and frustrating for many victims.
The standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt” is difficult to prove, especially in a “he said-she said” scenario, which it often is in sexual abuse cases.
Healing begins with empowerment. Whether it is through the civil justice system or the criminal justice system, I believe it very important for victims to feel vindication by coming forward and having their day in