Teen testifies against former Trinity high school teacher

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by Gene Kang

WHAS11.com

Posted on June 5, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 7 at 10:54 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The former Trinity High School Spanish teacher accused of groping a student inappropriately is expected to take the stand on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, a teenager who made allegations against a former Trinity High School teacher testified in court. But was it unwanted touching or a simple pat on the chest?

Former Trinity High School Spanish teacher, Donald Switzer, watched as a former student testified against him. Switzer is charged with sexual abuse and harassment.

The student who was 15-years-old at the time, claimed Switzer groped him inappropriately after class  in 2011.

"There were the hugs and this incident and then one time when I was leaving the classroom he reached up and felt my abs," said the former student.

He demonstrated what supposedly happened on a mannequin, saying Switzer grabbed his chest in February of 2011 which made him feel uncomfortable.

“There's a difference between grabbing your nipple and grabbing your chest, but there is not a difference in the message that it can give," said the teen.

Switzer's lawyer argued it was just a tap on the chest and that he was kept in class because he didn't finish an assignment.

Other students came forward and said Switzer treated the teenager differently.

"More affection than the other students. He usually gave him more hugs and candy than other students," said one student.  "I also saw him touch his chest or his abs, but not like a grabbing sort of thing. It would be like a light touch, like if he was going to stop him from doing something."

A Child Protective Services' investigation showed Switzer was not a threat. Switzer admitted he touched the teen by accident. Often, he hugged students and realized that was not a good idea.

"Some of them said there was some touching that goes on, some said it was creepy, some said it wasn't. So it's very subjective," said Switzer's lawyer, Robert Florio

Ben Wyman is a prosecutor for the Jefferson County Attorney's office and his son is the teen making the allegations.

Switzer's attorney said it's all motivated by money.

Switzer is expected to tell his side of the story on the stand Wednesday.
 
 

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