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Ex-Teacher Trial Goes To Jury

Ex-Teacher Trial Goes To Jury

By Jake Wasikowski. CREATED Mar 7, 2013

Former Nathan Hale Middle School teacher Shad Knutson is in court, accused of sexually assaulting young girls.


There was no decision by the time the jury left the Douglas County Courthouse on Thursday.  They deliberated for about 45 minutes before recessing.  The former Nathan Hale Middle School teacher and coach is charged with 5 Felonies that stem from inappropriate contact and conversations with four students from a few years ago.


Douglas County Attorney Don Klein told the jury, "Don't let yourselves be manipulated by the defendant as he manipulated these young girls."


The former teacher allegedly groped the girls and sent them phone messages asking for unclothed pictures, even saying they'd get a better grade for it.  Prosecutors say he had contact with one of the girls, either by phone calls or text messages, 26,000 times.  Knutson testified on Wednesday that he didn't have illegal contact with the girls.


"The evidence falls woefully short," Public Defender Tom Reilly argued. "Mr. Knutson is guilty of being a teacher who was trying to be a pal to students and he's paying for it now."


The jury will continue deliberations on Friday morning.