Fmr. Trinity teacher, prosecutor speak out after acquittal


by Adam Walser

Posted on June 8, 2012 at 5:42 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 8 at 7:14 PM

(WHAS11) -- The Trinity High School teacher acquitted of harassment and sexual abuse charges is speaking out, and so is the prosecutor who brought the case against him.

Now that the dust has somewhat settled, both sides are talking about the Switzer trial, which ended Thursday after the jury had only been out an hour.

Donald Switzer says dozens of e-mails and calls of support have been pouring in since the trial ended.

Switzer is speaking out about the process that led to the loss of his job and his reputation.

“This should never have been allowed. This should have never gone to court,” he said. “It was a waste of taxpayer's money and people's time.”

Switzer was accused of groping a Trinity High School student’s chest after class in February of 2011.

Switzer testified he just nudged him to hurry him to his next class.

A Child Protective Service investigation failed to find evidence of a crime, but Switzer was later arrested on a warrant.

“I was absolutely shocked,” Switzer said of the arrest.

But former Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Scott said a separate victim came forward about that time with troubling information about Switzer's behavior involving another Trinity student in the 1990's.

“Based on what I saw in the other case with a separate victim, to me, it looked like grooming behavior,” Scott said.

Scott said if the judge allowed evidence of that prior encounter at the trial, the outcome may have been different.

“The reason we prosecute difficult cases is because we want the victims to know that it’s o.k. to tell an adult. That’s the right thing to do. Whether the case is won or lost, the victim in the case did the right thing by telling his counselor what happened to him.”

Switzer disagrees with how it all was handled.

“Don’t arrest somebody until you have all the facts and you know exactly what's going on,” Switzer said. “I think there needs to be something there in the system to protect the person who's being accused.”