“I'm completely innocent of all the charges,” Mission Viejo junior high school teacher Kristen Michelle Roush said outside the courthouse last November, after she pleaded not guilty to committing lewd acts with a 14-year-old male student.
“I put students first all the time, and I live my life in a way that shows I could not have done any of these things that are alleged against me,” the 34-year-old Aliso Viejo resident told reporters at the time.
Sure enough, on Friday, the District Attorney's office dismissed the child molestation charges.
In a deal with prosecutors, Roush pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor battery charge and agreed to resign from her position as an eighth grade teacher at La Paz Intermediate School.
“We left no stone unturned as we investigated this case and came up with numerous witnesses who refuted the outrageous claims of the young alleged victim,” said David Wohl, Roush's attorney with Wallin N Klarich.
Wohl said that after the defense showed the prosecution the evidence the Tustin law firm collected, the four lewd act counts against Roush were dismissed. Each count carried a maximum three-year prison term.
As part of her plea deal, Roush will serve no jail time, but she will be on formal probation for three years, Wohl said.
The boy's parents tipped Orange County sheriff's deputies off about being concerned with Roush's relationship with their son, who'd claimed she kissed him and touched his leg, authorities said at the time. The teacher, who is married and has two daughters, was arrested on Oct. 24 following a month-long investigation.
OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.