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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.

Judy Wiff

Judy Wiff has been regional editor for RiverTown’s Wisconsin newspapers since 1996. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and sociology from UW-River Falls. She has worked as a reporter for several weekly newspapers in Wisconsin.

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