Charges Against Cedarburg Teacher Dropped, DA Calls it an "Error"

CBS 58—Charges against Paul Smith, a Cedarburg High School teacher were dropped, just hours after bail was set.

“It’s sort of bittersweet,” said Paul Bucher, Smith’s attorney.

Bucher says they’re elated the charges are dropped but adds the damage is done.

“Now my client has to try to regain his reputation and that’s going to be a long process,” Bucher said.

According to the criminal complaint, Smith admitted to having a sexual relationship with the 18-year-old woman, but says it started days after she graduated. Still, Smith was arrested Wednesday, and appeared in court Thursday morning. Hours later the District Attorney dropped the charges.

The Ozaukee County District attorney tells CBS 58 Smith “…can’t be convicted of violating Wis. Stats. Sec 948.095. It was an error in charging and I had to correct it right away.”

Smith’s attorney says it’s too soon if they will file any law suits.

“We’ll take this one step at a time,”Bucher said. “We’re not going to jump the gun, which is unfortunately exactly what happened in this case. And we’ll examine our legal options in this case.”

Bucher says Smith is still on unpaid leave from Cedarburg High school and the district asked him to sign a resignation letter by 4 PM Thursday. Smith refused.

Bucher says they'll meet Monday to talk about What's next.

“We'll fight this fight,” Bucher said. “It's not over that's for sure.”

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