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NK teacher acquitted

William R. Thompson, the 2006 North Kitsap teacher of the year acquitted by a jury Monday for allegedly making inappropriate advances on a young female student, said he isn’t bitter about his accuser.

“She’s a young person, it’s over,” he said, noting that he was more upset with the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office.

“All they had to do was talk to some of my colleagues at the school,” he said. “Just do some investigation on this and it wouldn’t have gotten to where it’s at.”

Despite believing teaching was his calling, Thompson said he won’t teach again.

“Teachers just have to be so extremely careful in this climate, the way it is these days,” he said. “I wouldn’t wish this on anybody.”

“I’m just going to miss it terribly,” he said.

Robert Davy, the deputy who prosecuted the case, referred questions to Chief Deputy Prosecutor Claire Bradley, who did not return messages seeking comment.

The girl, then 14, accused Thompson of touching and kissing her. While being treated for a mental health issue in 2008 the girl told a counselor about the alleged misconduct. The girl is now 17.

Thompson was on trial in Kitsap County District Court for two counts of fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation and communicating with a minor for immoral purposes. The jury deliberated for about two-and-a-half hours.

Thompson switched to teaching after retiring from the Navy as a senior chief petty officer and spent 13 years teaching science, 12 at Poulsbo Junior High School, one at North Kitsap High School.

“It turned out to be my calling,” he said.

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