Investigation Of Sperreng Teacher Now With County Prosecutor

Still no charges against teacher removed from classroom and arrested Dec. 9

01/30/2009 - An investigation into alleged inappropriate contact between a Sperreng Middle School teacher and a student has been turned over to the St. Louis Prosecuting Attorney's office.

Don Schneider, Assistant to St. Louis Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch, said his office has taken the case "under advisement" following an investigation into the issue by St. Louis County Police.

"The police will turn over a case to us and if we don't decline or refuse it, it's taken under advisement," Schneider said. "We then have 90 days to act on it before it is automatically declined.

"Often we'll ask the police to do some additional investigating or go back and talk to the people involved."

Schneider said it could still be another few weeks before his office takes any action.

The teacher was arrested Dec. 9 but has yet to face any formal charges as St. Louis County Police only recently turned over its investigation to the prosecutor's office.

Richard Sindel, the attorney who is representing the teacher, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing on the part of the teacher.

"Nothing has happened with the case because there isn't anything," Sindel said.

Sindel questioned the credibility of the complainant whom he previously said was "incapable of telling the truth."

The teacher's name is not being released as there have been no charges filed.

The teacher is currently on paid administrative leave from Lindbergh School District pending the outcome of any charges that might be filed.

"The teacher is a tenured teacher and there is definitely a contract involved," Lindbergh School District Assistant Superintendent Rick Francis said. "There would have to be a conviction that triggers language in the contract for a dismissal."

In the meantime, Francis said district officials have discussed using the teacher to help with administrative work outside of the classroom.

"Our hands are tied with this because there was an arrest but no charges yet," Francis said.

County police arrested and escorted the teacher from Sperreng Middle School Dec. 9 on a charge of second degree statutory sodomy.

The teacher was released from custody that same day pending an application for a warrant from county police.

Officials from the Lindbergh School District had investigated the teacher in October in regard to the accusations but found no wrongdoing on the teacher's part.

After its own investigation, the school district forwarded the matter to St. Louis County Police, who had been investigating the teacher since making a December arrest.

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