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The Impact of False Allegations of Sexual Assault on a Child On A Dedicated Teacher

Consider the following 2010 article appearing in a California Newspaper in December of 2010

DA won’t charge San Jose sub teacher accused of sex assaults in classroom

A San Jose substitute teacher who taught at McKinley Elementary… With more than a dozen elementary school students complaining that a substitute teacher had inappropriately touched them, San Jose police sprang into action that October school day. The 64-year-old sub, Jayanthum Kapasi, was interviewed, arrested and booked on charges of sexually assaulting students, facing prison time and lifetime registration as a sex offender.

But this week, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office reported that it had declined to file charges, an unusual outcome in a case with so many potential victims. “Given the information the DA’s Office received, there was insufficient evidence to determine exactly what happened in this case,” said Steve Fein, the county’s chief sex assault prosecutor.

Kapasi told the Mercury News on Thursday that he never did anything wrong. He said he felt hurt and confused about the arrest and was left certain only that he will never enter a children’s classroom again. “If I went back, if I got an assignment, there will always be a shadow hanging over me. I don’t want that,” said Kapasi, who is a grandfather.

The case leaves a mystery as to how so many children — mostly fourth-graders at the McKinley Elementary School — would come forward with such serious allegations, if it were not true. Or, as Kapasi’s attorney Cameron Bowman suggests, were police overly aggressive, unfairly snaring an “old-school, hands-on” disciplinarian? “This was a product of this zero tolerance of any kind of touching environment in schools these days, that any kind of touching is somehow sexual touching,” Bowman said. “This was blown up into this huge thing that fed on itself.”

Bowman said San Jose police did not do a thorough investigation and “jumped the gun.” Kapasi said an investigator told him officers had felt “intense pressure” to make an arrest. Police defended the investigation, saying they had probable cause to make the bust.

“Our No. 1 concern was public safety for those kids,” said Lt. Michael Kihmm of the sexual assault investigations unit. “We needed to intervene one way or the other with this person.”

With sexual assault cases, police say they must “err on the side of caution,” preventing offenders from targeting more victims or fleeing.

The case began Oct. 6, when several students came forward to school officials with complaints that Kapasi — who was on a two-day assignment — had touched them inappropriately, over their clothes.

Further investigation showed that other students may have been touched as well, all during class time, in the classroom.

Some of the touching described by the students was allegedly on or near the students’ buttocks. Others simply told police that he had touched their backs, shoulders and chins. One female student alleged he had touched her breasts. One student alleged he bit her ear.

Kapasi said he had no idea why police called him in the next day. When they finally told him, he said he felt cold, terrified, disbelieving.

Kapasi was born in Mumbai, an accountant by training, and a naturalized U.S. citizen since the early 1970s. He is married, has two grown children, both with doctorates. He has, officials said, no criminal record.

In his retirement, he worked at H&R Block and then started substitute teaching last year.”I have always been very good dealing with children. I’m happy when I’m with kids,” he said. “If someone learns from me it gives me immense pleasure.”

Despite a police news release announcing the arrest, prosecutors initially declined to charge the case, ordering police to investigate further, to look for complaints from other schools were he had subbed. They did not find any complaints of overtly sexual behavior.

Kapasi said that while he was in jail he overheard other inmates who recognized him from the news reports saying they were going to hang him up by his private parts. When he was released, Kapasi said, he was in a daze. His said his wife and family fully supported him, never believed he had done anything wrong.

He lives in an apartment, so few neighbors knew him well enough to give him grief. But the sordid allegations and his grim mug shot peered out from the Internet on such sites as “Bad Bad Teacher.” Kapasi said he has no plans to sue. But he remains embittered. School districts have written or contacted him to say he is not welcome to teach, according to Kapasi.

“It is a loss for me not to teach what I know,” he said. “Knowing what we know about the education system, how the children lack some discipline, respect for teachers and respect for learning, well, then it’s their loss.”

A Man’s Life is Ruined By False Allegations of Sexual Abuse

Because the police overreacted – because this poor man did not have adequate prefiling legal representation – because of the near hysteria in the reaction by law enforcement when these (and all such allegations) are made by alleged child sexual assault victims — this man will never be allowed to regain his former life…

If you even suspect that you are under investigation for Sexual Assault you must NOT discuss the case with law enforcement in any form .. over the phone, at police head quarters, in your home, on the street.

Tragically false accusations of molestation are a frequent reality in the criminal justice system. Besides detracting from credible cases of true sexual abuse, false accusations have put many innocent men and women behind bars, while destroying their families and ruining their lives. The motives for manipulating a child into making a false accusation can range from revenge over a broken relationship to a desire to gain full custody of a child. In cases where there are huge sums of money at stake, or in cases involving celebrities, such as the recent Michael Jackson trial, the motives often include a desire to obtain a financial winfall from a public figure.

Do not hesitate – seek immediate answers to your questions and your fears..


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___________________________
H. Michael Steinberg Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
The Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm of H. Michael Steinberg
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