School Votes To Pay Legal Fees Of Assistant Principal Charged In Child Porn Witchhunt

from the good-for-them dept

Back in April, we wrote about the ridiculous situation involving an assistant principal who had been prosecuted for "child porn" possession because he had been investigating kids at school sending graphic images of themselves to each other. The details of the case are convoluted, but it was quite clear that the guy never should have been charged -- just as it was equally clear that the prosecutor didn't seem to care. As we noted, the judge tossed out the case, but the guy had lost his job and his name had been attached to child porn, scaring off friends and neighbors. However, it sounds like things may actually be working out (as much as something could "work out" after such an awful experience).

Ting-Yi Oei was allowed to return to his job in April, and apparently he was welcomed back warmly: "The Parent Teacher Student Association organized a welcome-back breakfast for him and the school honors society decorated his office door and desk with notes of support and Christmas lights." And, now, the school board has voted to give him $167,000 to cover his legal fees. That still doesn't fix the emotional anguish, but at least the community and the school seems to have realized that the prosecutor made a huge mistake here.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Poster, Jun 26th, 2009 @ 12:18am

    Nice show of support for the man. Good on that school board.

     

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  2.  
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    yogi, Jun 26th, 2009 @ 12:53am

    How different is this prosecutor's mentality from the Salem witchhunters, hundreds of years ago?

    How can such a maniac still be in office, and not in a mental asylum?

    Sometimes it's hard to figure out what century Americans are living in.

     

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  3.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jun 26th, 2009 @ 1:19am

    It's great that this is a relatively happy ending after all, but it seems a fragile victory at best. I doubt that every parent and colleague have accepted his innocence (the "no smoke without fire" crowd will still be out there regardless of the evidence). He's also a target for vindictive pupils - if he pisses them off in any way, along comes another false allegation and he's out of work again.

    Meanwhile, the prosecutor isn't (AFAIK) facing any repercussions for almost needlessly destroying a man's life and wasting thousands of dollars of public money. Not to mention that this case is yet another illustration as to why teaching is an increasingly dangerous profession. This puts off new graduates who may have been interested in teaching and thus weakening an already under served school system.

     

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    Rekrul, Jun 26th, 2009 @ 2:12am

    These days, it's much too easy to accuse someone of being a heretic... Um, I mean a communist... No wait, I mean a pedaphile.

    What was that about those who don't learn from the past?

     

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    Joseph Durnal, Jun 26th, 2009 @ 4:02am

    Local Reaction

    I live just across the river from the school district in question. As you would imagine, there are strong opinions on this matter. There are folks that are just livid with the school board for doing this, and then there are folks that think the school board acted properly, but direct their anger at the commonwealth's attorney. I'd say that the group angry with the commonwealth's attorney are the people that have actually thought about the facts and not forming an opinion simply because someone said the words "child porn". It is hard to say how these things will play out, depending on if someone decides to make it an issue in the next county elections.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Poster, Jun 26th, 2009 @ 5:23am

    Re:

    It really is a Pyhrric victory, and that's what makes this situation even worse: none of this ever had to happen, and it wouldn't have happened in a world where common sense comes before bullheaded, paranoid child protectionism.

    The prosecutor should at least be fired (and, if there's any justice in this world, disbarred for gross misconduct and prosecutorial abuse), and the victim of this sham prosecution should not only receive an apology from representatives from the city of South Riding and the state of Virginia for being put through such a completely avoidable ordeal, but a healthy settlement to make up for the time he lost off his job while dealing with this nonsense as well as the emotional trauma he was surely put through.

    Only then would it be a true victory.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Poster, Jun 26th, 2009 @ 5:27am

    Re: Local Reaction

    "I'd say that the group angry with the commonwealth's attorney are the people that have actually thought about the facts and not forming an opinion simply because someone said the words "child porn"."

    Which would make those people far more intelligent than those that do form an opinion just by hearing those two words.

     

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    R. Miles (profile), Jun 26th, 2009 @ 5:46am

    Did I just read the article right?

    They said they had to [b]vote[/b] to pay the legal fees???

    What the hell would have happened if the vote went against?

    I think it's time for Oei to file his own lawsuit, both against the school and the city for wrongful prosecution.

    Because, as many state, the sheer implication was enough to ruin this man's life. Now, he should reap at least a million to retire and move the hell out of the area.

    For no amount of time will ever clear his name from those too stupid to see just how wrong the situation was from Oei's perspective.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2009 @ 6:42am

    Re: Did I just read the article right?

    Yes the had to vote. Most likely no one but the board has the authority to give the man this much money and if that board is like almost every other kind of board in America then they have to have an official vote to make it happen. Think a little before trying to make a mountain out of a molehill.

     

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    Emilio, Jun 26th, 2009 @ 7:35am

    Good Ol' Loudoun County... Do me a favor, if you're in Loudoun reading this, next chance you get, vote that yahoo Plowman out of office... Thanks.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2009 @ 11:05am

    so they can vote on how they use our tax monies?

    wtf

     

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    Emilio, Jun 26th, 2009 @ 1:34pm

    Good Ol' Loudoun County... Do me a favor, if you're in Loudoun reading this, next chance you get, vote that yahoo Plowman out of office... Thanks.

     

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    teknosapien, Jun 26th, 2009 @ 1:35pm

    Re: Re: Local Reaction

    does this mean that the others went to the crappy school?

     

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  14.  
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    batch, Jun 26th, 2009 @ 4:06pm

    Isn't it cool how some people just have to go on power trips and then get away with it somehow? I think its really cool. (not really)

     

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  15.  
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    Rekrul, Jun 26th, 2009 @ 9:43pm

    If there's any good to come out of this, I hope it's that it makes school officials less eager to snoop through students' phones and/or report any racy pictures they might find to the cops.

     

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