Former teacher aide acquitted of sexual assault charges
EllSWORTH -- After deliberating 3 1/2 hours, a Pierce County jury of three men and nine women found a former River Falls teacher aide not guilty of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old boy.
The trial took two days. The verdict was returned shortly before 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19.
The boy had accused Rebecca O'Malley-Tietz, now 35, of having sex with him 30 to 40 times at her home and in a parked car after they met when he attended the Harbor program for special needs students at the River Falls Academy during the 2007-08 school year. She was a special education aide there.
"The system works, and that is what it's designed to do," said O'Malley-Teitz's attorney, Mark Gherty, Monday morning.
The first degree child sexual assault charge carries a maximum sentence of 60 years in prison.
The boy reported the alleged assaults to a social worker and his mother more than a year after they allegedly occurred.
When interviewed by a police investigator in October 2009, O'Malley-Tietz vehemently and repeatedly denied ever having sex with the boy. She said she felt more like a mother to the child.
For more, see the Nov. 25 print edition of the River Falls Journal.