SE Mo. teacher acquitted of assaulting student

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — A former southeast Missouri teacher has been acquitted of assaulting a student during a January incident in a downtown Cape Girardeau parking lot.

The Southeast Missourian reports ( that Roman Smith said after Friday's verdict that he hopes to return to teaching, if possible. He had resigned in February after being placed on administrative leave by the school district.

Smith taught science at Cape Girardeau Central High School. The charge of third-degree misdemeanor assault accused him of choking a 16-year-old student into unconsciousness.

Authorities said a "play fight" escalated when Smith allegedly wrapped his feet around the student's waist and applied a choke hold.

Smith testified in his own defense during the one-day trial.

Information from: Southeast Missourian,


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