Photo via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

A man who taught at Castaic Elementary School was acquitted Wednesday of a misdemeanor count alleging that he inappropriately touched a student, and three other identical counts against him were dismissed after jurors deadlocked 11-1 in favor of acquitting him on those charges.

The prosecution did not object to a defense request to dismiss the three counts on which jurors had deadlocked in the case of Joshua Mark Levine, according to Ricardo Santiago of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Levine, now 44, was charged last year with four misdemeanor counts of annoying or molesting a child involving four female students on school grounds at the school in the 2014-15 school year.

Levine’s attorney, Todd Melnik, said his client — who had taught for 20 years and was once named a Teacher of the Year — “did absolutely nothing wrong.”

The defense lawyer said his client is “so scarred” by the case that “he’s not sure he ever wants to teach again.”

Melnik said he spoke with jurors after the verdict who told him that they felt it was a “witch hunt.”

“This case just mushroomed out of control because not enough investigation was done,” Melnik said.

In a statement last summer, the Castaic Union School District said that it was monitoring the status of the case and that Levine would be on leave until the conclusion of the case.

–City News Service

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