DOVER, Del. (AP) - A Delaware teacher has been found innocent of charges that she hit an autistic student in the classroom. A Family Court judge ruled after a one-day trial last week that prosecutors had failed to prove that 31-year-old Danielle Finlay of Newark was guilty of offensive touching.
State police alleged that Finlay struck a 17-year-old student at the Delaware Autistic Program in the head after he made loud noises and then threw an empty water bottle at him. The student, who is nonverbal, was not hurt.
Finlay has been on paid leave since the March incident. Defense attorney Peter Letang said Wednesday that Finlay hopes to return to work. Letang said Finlay sometimes used tactile means, including tapping students with her hand or a water bottle, in communicating with autistic students.
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