Case dismissed against former teacher accused of sexual assault
GENESEE CO., Mich. (WNEM) - A former mid-Michigan teacher accused of sexual assault has had his case dismissed after a preliminary hearing.
Eugene Pratt, of Davison, was arrested by GHOST Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022, after an investigation that began in February of 2022 when a former student came forward.
Pratt was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct for an incident on June 1, 2013.
Related: ‘We know there are more victims,’ sheriff says after former teacher charged with sexual assault
Pratt appeared in front of Genesee County District Court Judge Tabitha Marsh on Thursday, Feb. 9 for a review hearing. During the hearing, Pratt was found competent to stand trial for first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Related: Former teacher accused of sexual assault competent for trial
His case was dismissed on Tuesday, March 7 after the victim did not appear in court, according to Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton.
It is unclear why the victim did not show up to testify.
“We were not able to get the victim there for a number of reasons, and the judge dismissed it,” said Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson.
The case has been dismissed for now, but the legal proceedings against the former educator are likely far from over.
“We continue to work with our victim and remember this case has some years behind it and we’ve got a great rapport. We’re going to re-present it to the prosecutor’s office and let him make the final decision,” Swanson said.
Pratt’s education career began in 1986 at Beecher Community Schools where he was a student teacher. From there, he went on to Kearsley Community Schools, Hamady Community Schools, and Grand Blanc Community Schools where he served as a substitute teacher. After that, he worked as a teacher at Kearsley Community Schools until June 1999. He then worked at the Davison Athletic Club, and Hamady Middle and High School before returning to Beecher Community Schools in 2006 where he served as principal for Beecher Adult and Alternative Education until 2013.
Swanson said he believes during that time, Pratt assaulted at least 15 people. He said investigators are working with other victims to build a stronger case against Pratt.
“We have young victims, we have traumatized victims, we have victims that are adults that this stuff happened when they were kids. So, there’s a lot of things that we need to be sensitive to, and those that have been victimized know what I’m talking about. So, we continue to build our relationships and we look forward to continuing on with this case,” Swanson said.
He said the evidence in the case against Pratt is strong enough to continue “with or without” the reported victim present. He acknowledged that it can be hard for victims to relive a traumatic event in court but that investigators will try to persuade the victim to testify.
“He’s an adult. So, we’re going to make sure we do everything we can to get him there. We already have a statement from the victim and the defendant, so those facts again have not changed,” Swanson said.
The prosecutor’s office has not yet commented on how soon Pratt could potentially be back in court.
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