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Judge Reverses Firing of Teacher Tried for Molestation

A Fourth District Court judge on Wednesday overturned the firing of a San Diego teacher who spent more than three years in prison after being falsely convicted of molesting second and third grade students.

In a written ruling, the judge noted that officials at Clairemont's Toler Elementary School acted erroneously when they terminated Thad Jesperson's employment in November 2008.

Jesperson was arrested in April 2003, tried three times and ultimately convicted on seven counts of molestation. He was sentenced to serve 15 years to life in prison but was released in 2007 because of misconduct on the part of jurors and ineffective assistance from his own attorney. All convictions were overturned and Jesperson asked Toler Elementary officials to reinstate him.

The school denied his request despite the overturning of all molestation convictions and a ruling from a commission on professional competence that Jesperson was fit to teach and that "the evidence (in the case) did not establish that he touched (one of the students who accused Jesperson of molestation) in the manner to which she testified, or in any other manner that was immoral or a violation of district regulations...".

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Avatar for user 'HarryStreet'

HarryStreet | March 30, 2013 at 10:32 a.m. ― 3 years, 12 months ago

This is a lot scarier than we realize. When a child or woman accuses a man of molestation, rape, etc., it's far easier and expected for the public to believe the accuser.

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Avatar for user 'muckapoo1'

muckapoo1 | April 1, 2013 at 8:28 a.m. ― 3 years, 12 months ago

Released on a technicality does not make me feel safe this person is around children again. Where there is smoke, there is fire. The DA does not bring charges without evidence. These young children don't get together to set up teachers at that level. If my kids were to get this teacher, I would pull them from the school.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | April 1, 2013 at 11:06 a.m. ― 3 years, 12 months ago

HARRY STREET is correct, especially as we see the trend to politicize criminal behaviors.

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