A D.C. public school teacher accused of taking indecent liberties with a 10-year-old pupil at a Southeast elementary school was found not guilty yesterday by a D.C. Superior Court jury.
Roy Lee Alston, 43, a teacher at Moten Elementary School at Morris and Evans roads, had been charged with taking indecent liberties with a minor child, a felony, after the pupil complained in February that he kept her after class and fondled her.
"Justice prevailed," said Alston outside court yesterday. Alston, a 12-year veteran of the school system, had maintained his innocence throughout the trial.
Alston acknowledged locking the classroom door in violation of school policy, but told jurors that he and the girl had only been working on some administrative forms and that he had not touched her as she claimed.
Alston was suspended without pay after the incident and has since been working in a city-run youth job training program. A schools spokesman said yesterday that legal counsel in the superintendent's office will review the verdict to determine whether Alston should be reinstated.
According to police, the alleged incident was brought to the attention of Moten's principal after the girl started crying in the school cafeteria and related her account to friends.
She testified in court that Alston had asked her to skip her lunch break that day after classmates had left and then fondled her after they had completed administrative chores.
Two other pupils testified that they returned to the classroom, found the door locked and saw the girl and Alston inside together, the girl's blouse in some dissaray.
The girl's mother later complained that Moten principal Valerie S. Green had refused to report the alleged incident to police.
According to Alston's attorney, John Perazich, the pupils' accounts were simply the products of overactive imaginations.