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July 16, 2014

Child seduction case against former LHS teacher dismissed

Testimony hindered prosecution of former LHS teacher

The charge of child seduction against a former Logansport High School teacher was dismissed Wednesday, a press release from the Cass County Prosecutor states.

Kayla Skaggs, 24, Logansport, a former special needs teacher at Logansport High School, was arrested in April and charged with child seduction. The arrest followed an investigation executed by the Logansport Police Department in conjunction with the administration of Logansport High School regarding allegations of inappropriate behavior between Skaggs and a 17-year-old male student. He was not one of her students.

“After discovery was completed, the State dismissed the case rather than go forward because the alleged victim continues to assert that he told the defendant that he was 18 years old during the time of their relationship,” Cass County Prosecutor Kevin Enyeart writes. “The victim’s testimony negatively impacted the ability of the State to prosecute the case.”

Enyeart goes on to state that after reviewing the case, the prosecutor’s office “no longer believes that the prosecution can continue, as there was not a reasonable probability of conviction at trial.”

The age at which a person can legally consent to have sex is 16 in Indiana. The child seduction law under which Skaggs was charged, however, makes it a crime for a teacher to have sex with a student if that student is 16 or 17.

Jim Brugh, a Logansport attorney, represented Skaggs in the case.

“The student told the teacher beforehand that he was 18,” Brugh said. “The teacher had no knowledge that the student was age 17, so that would have been a defense at the trial.”

Brugh went on to call the outcome a “good example of both sides working the case from the beginning.”

“Prosecutor Enyeart and I have both been working the case,” Brugh said. “By working the case early, we could figure out details and arrive at reasonable solutions. The writing was on the wall that she would probably not be convicted. I would give credit to the criminal justice system.”

Skaggs’ contract with the Logansport Community School Corporation was canceled by the corporation’s board last month.

Brugh said Skaggs requested her disciplinary case with the school corporation board wait until her criminal case was over.

“I hope they have some second thoughts now about their moralistic rush to judgement,” Brugh said of the school board.

Reach Mitchell Kirk at mitchell.kirk@pharostribune.com or 574-732-5130

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