Crown drops indecency case against former teacher

By Greymouth Star staff

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

Months of anguish have finally ended for a former West Coast teacher after he was cleared of a charge of indecently assaulting a 14-year-old female student.

Last year police and Child, Youth and Family spent months investigating former John Paul II School science teacher Andrew John McCarthy, 66, raiding his classroom and interviewing his students after the girl alleged he had indecently touched her.

The offence was alleged to have occurred on or about March 16, 2010. McCarthy said he touched the girl's glands under her neck because he suspected tonsillitis.

Another teacher who was present, Rudi Rupp, told police nothing untoward happened and the school's principal Kieran Stone accused police and CYFs of a witch hunt.

Mr Stone said at the time that Mr McCarthy was a good teacher and he had no concerns about him continuing to teach at the integrated Catholic school of 190 pupils.

When CYFs had completed its investigation it told the school it no longer had any concerns but police continued with the case, the file passing to Crown Law when Mr McCarthy elected trial by jury.

Crown prosecutor Anselm Williams brought the matter to an end on Friday when he told Judge Alastair Garland in the Greymouth District Court that the Crown had "elected to not file an indictment".

Judge Garland then dismissed the charge. McCarthy, 66, was then cleared of two charges of assaulting police officers by pushing a wheelbarrow into them. Police prosecutor Steven Greer asked for those charges to be withdrawn.

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