New Orleans prosecutors won't pursue charges against two Treme schoolteachers who were arrested last year and accused of failing to notify authorities after discovering video showing a student being forced to perform a sex act.
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro's office said Tuesday it has refused the case against Nicole Kusmirek, 32, and Shayla Shane, 28. They were facing counts of possessing child pornography and failing to report abuse of children. Shane also had been accused of obstruction of justice.
Kusmirek is listed as Success Preparatory Academy's second-in-command and Shane as the school's director of culture.
Through their attorney, Nandi Campbell, both women had denied wrongdoing, arguing that their actions actually prevented video of the incident from getting out on social media.
Two members of the leadership team at a charter school in Treme were arrested Tuesday on allegations they failed to alert authorities about th…
Campbell didn't immediately comment on the matter Tuesday.
The DA's Office declined to explain why it decided to drop the case.
There is no indication any students are facing criminal charges in connection with the incident captured on the video, which depicted a student allegedly being forced to perform oral sex.
According to court documents, officials at Success notified a parent on April 25 that her daughter had performed oral sex on at least three boys. The girl later said in writing that she had gone to the bathroom to meet one boy and was instead confronted by the group.
The girl said they blocked her from leaving and she "succumbed to peer pressure." One captured footage of the encounter with a cellphone.
The girl's mother told police she couldn't get "accurate information" about what happened when she went to the school the following day. She said she finally spoke with Shane, who allegedly said she caught students as they were viewing the footage. She said she emailed it to herself and Kusmirek and deleted it from a boy's phone.
But the mother said she understood other clips of the incident existed, and she called police.
Police then met with Success Principal Niloy Gangopadhyay as well as an attorney representing the school, who indicated that only one boy could be identified on the footage and that it wasn't clear who recorded it.
Police noted that Kusmirek and Shane had told their superiors about what they'd discovered.
Nonetheless, investigators secured warrants to arrest the women, and they surrendered to police on Oct. 3. They posted bail and were released within a few hours.
As news broke about the arrests, Gangopadhyay sent a letter to parents asking them to support his staff and students.
Founded in 2008, Success has about 480 students, most of whom are considered economically disadvantaged. State education officials gave the school a D grade for 2016-17.