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A male teacher from Hampshire was cleared of charges relating to an alleged sexual assault of a 14-year-old student from Dibden Purlieu. The high school faculty member was accused of touching her breasts while in his computer science class to get a thrill. Stephen Kenyon, 54, faced the Southampton Court on Wednesday and loudly sobbed as the jury unanimously cleared him of the single sexual assault charge.

According to Daily Mail, Kenyon strongly denied touching his student saying he had no idea why the girl had accused him of doing so. Prosecuting attorney Nicholas Tucker told the court that Kenyon‘s actions were a deliberate transgression as he went on to explain that no teacher would ever touch a pupil in that way unless it was deliberate because his hand remained in that position for several seconds.

“No teacher would touch a pupil like the way she says he did unless it was a deliberate transgression designed to get a sexual thrill," Tucker said.

A video clip of the victim being interviewed was played for the jurors in which the student described the incident, “He came around to check on my work and when he got to me he stopped and he put his hand around my side, under my arm and round to the front so his fingertips were against my bra, against my breast.”

After class, she confided in a friend during lunch to tell her what had happened. “At lunch, I saw my friend and I started crying. I was crying and shaking for the rest of lunch.”

The girl went on to describe her lessons with Kenyon saying she felt “kind of uncomfortable” around him because he was “over-friendly”. Kenyon explained to the court that over the course of his working life he usually would pull up a chair next to a student and if he isn’t able to do so, he would then crouch down next to them. He had even asked a student sitting next to the girl to “budge up” so he could fit between them to help her with the computer. He denied having leaned over the girl or ever touching her in any way intentionally.

When asked about being over friendly with students, Kenyon, who is a father to a nine-year-old boy and two stepchildren said, “I wouldn't say over-friendly, I'm just a friendly person. I love my job. I might talk a little bit too much.”

Representation Image Students in class vidyarthidarpan/ Pixabay