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Former teacher aide acquitted of sexual assault charges

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crime and courts River Falls, 54022

River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

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.

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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.

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