Bloomington substitute convicted of abusing 4 students - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Bloomington substitute convicted of abusing 4 students

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    Monday, December 17 2012 11:00 PM EST2012-12-18 04:00:15 GMT
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BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (KMSP) -

On Monday, a Hennepin County District Court judge found a substitute teacher guilty of four counts of malicious punishment of a child for swearing at, kicking and slapping students earlier this month.

Laura Avery, of Bloomington, was accused of abusing four students at Oak Grove Elementary School on Dec. 13. In his decision, Judge Lyonel Norris explained prosecutors had proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Avery yelled, swore and threatened the students in her classroom.

In his findings of fact, Norris stated that Avery kicked an 11-year-old in the shin as she walked to recess with enough force to raise a bruise. That student spent the remainder of the afternoon with a school health associate.

Additionally, Norris also found that Avery pulled a 10-year-old's hair, slapped the child's face and grabbed the student by the throat.

Another 10-year-old was pushed into a "quiet room" by Avery after she grabbed him by the neck, the findings report.

A second 10-year-old was also taken to the quiet room, and the boy said Avery grabbed his left shoulder so hard that it caused immediate, sharp pain. Photographs taken hours after the incidents showed red marks on the front and back of the boy's shoulder.

Of all the charges Avery faced, she was only acquitted of the count of tampering with a witness. Norris explained that even though Avery did go to a child's house to talk to her, it was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the girl witnessed the malicious treatment.

Avery waived her right to a jury trial, and the case was argued before Norris on Sept. 30. No sentencing date has been set.

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