Former Teacher Found Guilty of Sexual Assault
Shad Knutson is convicted of sexual assault by communication device
Omaha, NE - Douglas county sheriff deputies walk Shad Knutson out of court in handcuffs. A jury found the former teacher guilty of two out of five felony charges related to having inappropriate relationships with four underage girls.
"I believe that he should have been found guilty on all five counts. I'm very pleased that he was found guilty on the stiffer penalties," Tracy Pierce said.
A jury of nine women and three men found him guilty of sexual assault by communication device and guilty of child abuse. Both counts relate to an inappropriate relationship he had with a former Nathan Hale Middle School student he was tutoring.
Prosecutors say he texted or called her more than 26,000 times. "It was terribly heartbreaking to hear her as she was preyed upon by him saying he loved her and doing the things he did to her and the contact they had over the phone," Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said.
Jurors found Knutson not guilty on three other felony charges for inappropriate behavior involving three other girls. "To me the jury looked at this and found there was other evidence like the phone calls and text messages that they can rely on which I'm sure bolstered the case against him on those two counts," Kleine said.
Knutson and his attorney Tom Riley declined to comment. A parent of one of the victims hopes all the families involved can now move forward.
"I believe justice was served here today. I would hope some closure could be brought to the victims, to our families and we can get these predators away from our children," Kleine said.
Knutson is being held at the Douglas County Corrections Center without bond. He will be sentenced May 23rd.