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Kane acquitted, Faller guilty in Manatee schools abuse case

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Posted: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 5:07 pm

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. -- The trial of two former Manatee High administrators continued today. Matthew Kane and Gregg Faller were accused of failing to report child abuse in connection with former Manatee High School football coach Rod Frazier. Yesterday, Judge Peter Dubensky acquitted former administrator Robert Gagnon of the charges against him. Today, the judge rendered his decision on the charges against Kane and Faller.

"With respect to Mr. Kane … I find him not guilty of both counts,” said Judge Peter Dubensky. “With respect to Mr. Faller, the situation is different.”

And by “different,” the judge meant “guilty.”

"I find that the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Faller had grounds to believe that there was child abuse taking place," Dubensky ruled.

That said, the judge’s decision was split, with Faller found guilty on the misdemeanor count of failure to report suspected child abuse, but not guilty of a felony count on the same charge.

In making the decision, the judge cited several inappropriate interactions between Frazier and students that Faller was made aware of -- among them a situation that occurred at a bar.

While there is still debate over exactly what happened, when, and who knew, the judge ruled there was enough evidence to deliver the guilty verdict against Faller.

The sentencing part of hearing went much better for Faller. Though he was convicted of the misdemeanor, the judge only sentenced him to “one day in prison, no report,” which means Faller can serve his one day of jail time without ever actually going to behind bars. The only stipulation is that Faller not get arrested for doing anything illegal during that one day.

When asked to respond to the verdict, Faller said, "I have no comments at this time."

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