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New Times / News

The following article was posted on October 10th, 2012, in the New Times - Volume 27, Issue 11 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from New Times [newtimesslo.com] - Volume 27, Issue 11

Former teacher's rape charges dismissed

BY MATT FOUNTAIN

A former teacher with Coast Union High School in Cambria had rape and related charges against him dismissed in late July, according to court records.

Atascadero resident Walt Vickrey, who worked for Coast Union for more than five years, was initially arrested Nov. 11, 2010, on suspicion of multiple felonies related to spousal rape and dissuading a witness.

On July 7, however, following the discovery of new evidence, the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office dismissed all charges against Vickrey, due to uncertainty over the legitimacy of the allegations, among other complicating factors.

The nature of that evidence hasn’t been publicly released.

According to DA Spokesman Jerret Gran, discoveries cast a shadow of doubt over the case.

“Subsequent information came to our attention that led us to believe that we could not sustain our burden of proof,” he said.

Though he declined to go into detail, Vickrey described the allegations as resulting from a family issue. A restraining order placed on him by a San Luis Obispo County superior judge dissolved following the dropped charges.

According to court records, Vickrey and his wife are currently going through divorce proceedings.

And though Vickrey didn’t want to provide a specific comment to New Times, he did say he was glad to have his name finally cleared—despite the fact that he lost his job with Coast Unified School District following months of unpaid administrative leave, as well as his health insurance and benefits. He applied for unemployment insurance, as well, but was denied due to the nature of his departure.

Since then, Vickrey has been unable to find employment, he said, because of past media coverage of his arrest. Due to the loss of his job over the allegations, and mounting legal costs, Vickrey is now relying on family members for support.

New Times isn’t reporting the name of the once-alleged victim, as well as other details regarding Vickrey’s case dismissal, due to privacy and other legal concerns.

“The D.A. made the right decision,” Vickrey’s attorney, Ilan Funke-Bilu, said. “This is one of those rare cases where I disagree when they charge, but agree when they dismiss.”