There is truth when people say that a criminal conviction can change your life. Someone convicted of a sex crime can face difficulties finding opportunities for employment, may be branded as a predator, and might even lose their family. Even for someone who has been cleared of sexual crime charges, life does not necessarily get easier.
Back in February of this year, a Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, teacher was accused of sexual assault against one of his students. Late last week, a jury found him not guilty of the felonies he was charged with. Though he no longer has to worry about these charges going on his permanent record, he will probably never teach again.
The school had begun an internal investigation after it was made known to them that the teacher and the student had been having an inappropriate amount of communication. Eventually the police took over and sorted through thousands of text messages and an accusation of the teacher having sexual intercourse with the student.
There was also an incident reported where the teacher followed the student and her friend around their city, even approaching the student to speak with her privately. Much of the evidence was the testimony of the student and the text messages that were exchanged. The prosecution used the texts to show the jury some of the improper interaction.
The Jury Concludes: Not Guilty
The trial came to a conclusion when the jury announced that he was not guilty of the two counts of sexual assault. The teacher had testified that the relationship with the girl was not sexual. The girl had been his babysitter, and even his wife had not thought that anything was out of the ordinary.
The student has since then moved on with her life and education. The teacher however must deal with his indiscretion for years to come. Already having resigned from his previous teaching job, charges like this may prevent him from continuing in education and will undoubtedly affect his relationship with his wife and children.
Source: Green Bay Press Gazette online, "Jury finds former Sturgeon Bay teacher Darren Berg not guilty of having sexual contact with student," 5 November 2010