Ex-teacher found not guilty on indecent liberties charges
Posted July 14, 2010 2:02 p.m. EDT
Updated July 14, 2010 6:14 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — A Wake County jury found a former first-grade teacher not guilty Wednesday of accusations that he kissed and fondled a 7-year-old girl while she was his student.
George Johnson, 61, denied any wrongdoing in the case, saying the girl, who attended Wakelon Elementary School in Zebulon, had a history of lying.
Johnson was arrested last July on two counts each of taking indecent liberties with a child and indecent liberties with a student by a teacher – charges that could have put him in jail for a maximum of 56 months. He resigned from his job a month later.
The charges stem from two incidents in May 2009, where Johnson was accused of having improper contact with the girl while at school.
Prosecutors argued the girl had no reason to lie and contended that Johnson treated her differently than other students and gave her gifts.
"He had told her it was their secret," Wake County Assistant District Attorney Melanie Shekita said. "She was his girl."
But Johnson's defense attorney disputed the claims and presented testimony from Johnson in which he said he had caught her lying in class on different occasions.
"She's deceitful, dishonest," attorney Duncan McMillan said. "She craves attention."