H-SANTA MARIA

Oct 2, 2012 11:15 PM by Nikki Ibarra

St. Joseph High School administrators found guilty of failure to report alleged sexual assault

Verdicts were reached Tuesday afternoon, in a Santa Maria courtroom, in the trial involving the principal and former dean of students at St. Joseph High School.

Joseph Myers and John Walker were both found guilty with failure to report an alleged sexual assault case, involving a student, to police.

Walker was found not guilty of failing to report a second case.

KSBY's Nikki Ibarra has covered the trial from the start and was in the courtroom when the verdicts were announced.

One of the alleged victims was also in court and sobbed when the verdicts were read.

Attorney's, Michael Scott, who is representing Myers, and Ilan Funke-Bilu, who's client is Walker, both shook their heads as the verdicts were read.

Former Dean Walker was visibly upset and declined to comment.

Principal Myers told KSBY he is disappointed with the decision. "The fact of the matter is that we were put in a very difficult position and we tried to do what was morally right. We tried to help the young lady and, I guess, in doing so that put us up against the law," said Myers.

Last week, KSBY spoke to one of the alleged victim's father and he credit the two administrators with saving his daughter's life.

He released a statement to KSBY on Tuesday, saying, "Two men were convicted today for morally doing the right thing. They were unable to defend themselves fairly, due to to the limitations of the court hearings. The prosecutor and DA investigator did not present evidence in a fair and truthful way regarding our previous reporting of this crime to law enforcement, prior to any initial contact with St. Joseph High School. We hope that future victims are not re-victimized and used as power point presentations for political or career climbing opportunities, as our daughter was. All parents are now left without two heroes who dedicated their lives to protecting and educating this community's children. It is a sad day on the Central Coast."

Prosecutor, Anne Nudson, told KSBY she is happy justice was served, and said the district attorney's office will always keep the protection of children at the top of their list.

KSBY reached out to Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley for comment and she said, "Clearly the jury worked hard to follow the law and in so doing they protected the children of Santa Barbara County."

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