A popular West Bloomfield teacher and coach has been acquitted of charges that he sexually groped a female student and can return to work.
Stephen Larkin, 31, of Farmington Hills was found not guilty of four counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct by an Oakland County Circuit Court jury of seven men and five women, the Detroit Free Press reports.
“In any case in our country ... people who are accused are innocent until proven guilty,” West Bloomfield Schools Superintendent Gerald Hill told the newspaper “In this case, Mr. Larkin was found not guilty, and we’re pleased to welcome him back. Mr. Larkin is now able to once again fulfill his teaching role in the school district.”
School officials plan to meet this week with Larkin, who has been on administrative leave since September, when the charges were filed. Whether he will return this year is not clear.
Larkin’s defense attorney, Raymond Correll, said the past several months have been “incredibly stressful” for Larkin, his fiancée and his family. “He’s a well-respected teacher, coach and role model,” Correll said.
Larkin has maintained throughout the ordeal that he is innocent.A 16-year-old girl had alleged to West Bloomfield police that Larkin groped and kissed her in a classroom last May when she stayed after school for additional help, and Larkin was subsequently charged with three counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. A fourth count was later added.