Charges Against Stonehill Student Dismissed
April 27, 2011
by Vicki-Ann Downing
A Plymouth County grand jury Wednesday morning failed to indict Kevin Treseler, the Stonehill College student charged last month with raping a child he was tutoring in a classroom in a city school.
The grand jury's decision means the charges against Treseler, 21, of Millis, will not be prosecuted in court, said Bridget Norton Middleton, a spokesman for Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz.
An order not to proceed with the case was entered Wednesday in Brockton District Court, shortly after the "no bill" was returned by the grand jury.
"This is what the grand jury decided," Middleton said. "We respect the decision of the grand jury and unless there is more information, the case is closed."
Middleton defended the decision to first charge Treseler with a crime before seeking a grand jury indictment. She noted that Treseler was arrested March 22 on a warrant issued after evidence was presented to a clerk in district court.
Grand jury proceedings are secret and no reason was given for the failure to indict, Middleton said. Grand juries decide whether there is enough evidence to charge someone with a crime. If Treseler had been indicted, his case would have moved to the Superior Court level, which has jurisdiction in rape cases.
Michael P. Doolin, the lawyer for Treseler, said he informed Treseler's father of the decision on Wednesday morning.
"We're very pleased, very grateful that the grand jury process worked as it did," said Doolin. "The grand jury process is in place to make sure there is enough evidence to charge someone before bringing a case to Superior Court.
"In this case, after I'm sure a thorough consideration, the grand jury found there was not. We knew from the start Mr. Treseler was not guilty of these charges. We're very grateful. My client and his family are relieved and grateful," Doolin said.
Treseler had been accused of raping an 8-year-old girl while he was working for the Brockton School Department as a tutor at the Angelo Elementary School. The child told investigators that Treseler touched her inappropriately while he was working with students in the back of a classroom.
Doolin said Treseler is eager to continue his education but was not sure whether he would return to Stonehill. Treseler was suspended shortly after his arrest on March 21.
"Stonehill throughout this whole procedure didn't jump to any adverse conclusions and handled itself very well," said Doolin. "I think (Treseler) just wants to catch his breath, continue with his education and get his life back together."
Doolin also did not find fault with the district attorney's office for its investigation that led to charges against Tresler.
"I'm not going to second-guess what happened," Doolin said. "I'm grateful for the work the grand jury did. The DA's office called me immediately. They've moved to dismiss it ... I think they've handled themselves professionally and I'm thankful to them."
Doolin said that when he first met the Treseler family, he told them that the criminal justice system "works, that I was sure in this case that it would work, and it did."
The case touched off a controversy over the Brockton school department's procedures for conducting criminal background checks. Kathleen Sirois, the longtime human resources director for Brockton schools, agreed to retire effective June 30, at the same time her department was enduring criticism for the school system's failure to conduct criminal background checks on employees and volunteers.
Martin McGovern, spokesman for Stonehill College, said in a statement: "We welcome this news and the relief it must bring to Kevin and his family. We look forward to helping Kevin reintegrate into college life and to supporting him as he makes that transition, if that is his wish."
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