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Principal Won't Face Trial

Case against Thousand Oaks school leader who allegedly failed to report child abuse is dropped.

January 19, 2006|Gregory W. Griggs | Times Staff Writer

The Ventura County district attorney's office on Wednesday dropped its case against a Thousand Oaks principal who had faced misdemeanor charges for allegedly failing to report child abuse at his elementary school.

At the request of the district attorney, a judge dismissed the case against Meadows Elementary School Principal Bradley L. Miles, who was charged in November with four misdemeanor counts for allegedly failing to notify authorities about sexual incidents involving four 9-year-old boys.

"It was a frustrating, long time that my family and I had to endure this, but I'm happy," Miles said after the decision. "I was confident that once all the facts came out, all the charges would be dropped."

Senior Deputy Dist. Atty. Lisa Lyytikainen said evidence of Miles' wrongdoing was not conclusive.

"We couldn't prove it beyond a reasonable doubt," Lyytikainen said. "Further investigation revealed facts that made it unclear if the sexual conduct between the kids was forced."

Phillip Dunn, the lawyer representing Miles, said prosecutors had no choice but to halt the case.

"Mr. Miles and the Conejo Valley Unified School District handled this matter legally and appropriately for the purpose of protecting the children at the school," Dunn said.

To be falsely accused of violating state law that requires educators to report child abuse allegations to law enforcement placed a blemish on Miles' record, Dunn added. He said he plans to ask the court to make a "finding of factual innocence" in order to remove the misdemeanor allegations from Miles' record.

From the start, Miles' school district stood behind him. On Wednesday, Conejo Valley Unified School District Supt. Robert Fraisse called the 43-year-old administrator "an exemplary employee."

Fraisse said state law does not require educators to report age-appropriate sex play between consenting minors of similar age. In cases of suspected harassment, school administrators are required to conduct an investigation, he said.

Citing confidentiality, he and other authorities connected to the case declined to disclose what happened among the boys.

But in November, David Ring, an attorney retained by the parents of one of the fourth-graders, said two boys were assaulted and coerced into sexually touching each other by two schoolmates more than a dozen times last school year.

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