A Maple Avenue Middle School teacher was found not guilty Friday of having inappropriate physical contact with a 14-year-old student.
Joseph Bruno, 30, of Gansevoort, is looking forward to returning to teach math in the fall, said his lawyer, Cheryl Coleman. He was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and placed on administrative leave in May 2012 following the accusation against him.
“From his perspective, it was the most serious thing in the world because it put his whole future and teaching career on the line,” she said.
Saratoga County First Assistant District Attorney Karen A. Heggen said after the jury verdict was announced, “Our office believes in this 14-year-old woman’s version of events, which is why we brought this case to trial.”
She added that the accuser’s testimony never wavered throughout the trial in a cramped Greenfield Town Court.
Coleman said she understood the accusations needed to be taken seriously, but noted it made things very “scary” for Bruno. She said he was a popular, tenured teacher and hadn’t been accused of anything like this before.
“His family and he couldn’t be more pleased,” Coleman said. “He has lived a nightmare for the last year.”
Phone calls Friday evening to Maple Avenue Middle School and the Saratoga Springs City School District concerning Bruno’s employment status were not returned.