ASHEBORO, N.C.-- A former Randolph County teacher who was accused of inappropriately touching a student has been found not guilty.
In April 2017, Randolph County Sheriff's Office charged Jarret Elliott with one count of Sexual Battery. Elliott resigned from Randolph County Schools during the investigation. The arrest warrant obtained by WFMY News 2 from the courthouse stated Elliott was being accused of 'grabbing the buttocks of a student juvenile for the purpose of sexual arousal."
The student said the incident happened on the campus of Southwestern High School.
In May Elliott entered a not guilty plea on the charge. His attorney, John Megerian, stated during that hearing "My client is not guilty and he will plead as such."
Friday, August 11, Jarret Elliott was found not guilty by a judge. Students and parents who were in the courtroom cheered when the judge rendered the verdict.
The trial was considered a 'Bench Trial' which means it was heard in front of a judge and there was no jury for the case. Prosecutors and defense attorneys were allowed to call witnesses as each presented their case.
The District Attorney's office argued that Eillott touched a 17-year-old boy when he placed his hand on the student's backside.
Defendants argued a photo showing the alleged incident was misconstrued.
Witnesses called during the hearing included students and law enforcement.
The accused former teacher, Jarret Elliott, testified and admitted he slapped students on their backside occasionally as harmless horseplay. He also said he didn't have sexual contact with a student.
After the not guilty verdict, Elliott told WFMY News 2, it was the community support that got him through this ordeal.
► Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the WFMY News 2 App now