Teacher misconduct case may be dismissed

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 26, 2008

CHESAPEAKE — The sexual misconduct case against former Chesapeake teacher Donald Clark may be dismissed.

Clark, 29, was facing a charge of sexual battery, a 3rd degree felony where one must engage in sexual contact with another. That carries a prison term of 1 to 5 years.

The alleged victim and her family, who are represented by a Huntington attorney, no longer wish to prosecute, Lawrence County Prosecuting Attorney J.B. Collier said on Friday.

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“It is my understanding if we do not bring the case before the grand jury, he will voluntarily surrender his teaching certificate,” Collier said. “That will probably be the resolution, if they follow through with that and I am told they will.”

The case had been scheduled to go before the current grand jury who met Thursday and Friday.

Clark, who once taught math at Chesapeake High School and was an assistant basketball coach there, had been arrested May 16. The case resulted from a two-day investigation by county sheriff’s deputies and Lawrence County Children’s Services.

Allegations had been made that a male teacher in the Chesapeake system had had “inappropriate contact with a female,” student, the sheriff’s office had reported at that time.

Rock Hill band director Scott Jones was arrested on the same date on the same charge. The alleged victims in the two cases were not the same individuals.

Earlier this month Jones was indicted on two counts of sexual battery.

Clark had been asked to resign from the school system about a week before he was arrested. He had been with the Chesapeake system for two years and had previously taught in the Fairland system for a year.

Clark has been free on a $75,000 property bond.

Collier expects the teacher to surrender his certificate by next week.

“This is unusual,” the prosecutor said. “We feel there is a legitimate case. Without the victim and family willing to participate, it makes it difficult to pursue an indictment.”

Clark’s attorney Derick Fisher had no comment on the case.