Jury Acquits Former Idaho Teacher of Student Sexual Battery
SANDPOINT, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho jury acquitted a former Sandpoint high school teacher of charges accusing her of having sex with a 16-year-old male student. The Bonner County Daily Bee reports that the jury deliberated for about an hour before delivering the not-guilty verdict for 48-year-old Nichole Noel Thiel, ending the three-day trial. Prosecutor Louis Marshall says he was disappointed by the jury's decision, but he praised school officials for taking the allegations seriously. Authorities accused the Lake Pend Oreille School High School instructor of sexual battery of a teenager occurring in late 2015 and early 2016. Defense attorney Michael G. Palmer says his client has maintained her innocence, and the case placed Thiel "in the dilemma of feeling like she had to prove a negative."