The case against a 26-year-old Cedarburg High School social studies teacher and athletic coach accused of having sexual relations with a former student took some turns over the past week.
On Thursday, April 6, charges were dropped against Paul Smith, who had been charged with sexual assault of a student by school staff. Smith appeared in Ozaukee County Court on April 6, with his bail set at $5,000.
According to the Wisconsin Circuit Court records, the case was dismissed on the prosecutor's motion. According to District Attorney Adam Gerol, Smith cannot be charged because the student was 18 at the time of the incident.
The incident, which happened in June 2016, was brought to the attention of Cedarburg School District administrators on Monday, April 3, and the teacher was placed on an indefinite leave of absence on Tuesday, April 4.
According to the criminal complaint, Smith initially claimed that he had been in contact with the student before the alleged incident but denied having a sexual relationship during the school year. The student in question told police that she first had sexual intercourse with Smith two days after graduation. She was still involved in school activities following graduation, so Cedarburg High School still considered her a student.
The school district, in a release sent to district parents and staff, said there is no evidence that any inappropriate contact occurred on school district premises or at any school-related events.
"Student safety is our highest priority," Cedarburg Superintendent Todd Bugnacki said in the release. "That can observed through the positive, supportive ways our staff members take care of our students each and every day. I am disheartened to report that a staff member has engaged in behavior that does not meet district expectations."
Smith will remain on an administrative leave without pay until the school takes action again, according to Smith's attorney, Paul Bucher.
"The school may ask my client to resign, and that is a decision that we will discuss with the school during our next discussion," said Bucher. "We are ready to go through the process of getting this resolved once and for all."
Smith was arrested Wednesday, April 5.