ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — A former special education assistant in Alamogordo who was accused of battery for striking an autistic girl she said kicked her in the groin and knocked her glasses off has been acquitted by a jury.
The Otero County jury acquitted Nancy Carroll of the misdemeanor charge after a one-day trial late last week, the Alamogordo Daily News (http://bit.ly/X8Tg2P) reported.
Prosecutors alleged that Carroll intentionally slapped the 12-year-old girl in the face during the July 11 incident.
But Carroll testified Thursday that she was walking the child back to a desk after being kicked and telling her she should not hit people when the child hit her in the face and knocked her glasses off.
She said she touched the girl on the face, but it wasn’t a slap.
“I regret doing it,” Carroll testified. “I did not hit her on the face or slap her. It wasn’t mean or ugly but I touched her on the face. It wasn’t intentional or ugly. I realized I should not touch an autistic child.”
Another assistant in the room said she was distracted and only heard what sounded like a slap.
The girl’s mother told the Daily News she was proud of the aide who reported the incident and respected the decision. The newspaper did not identify the mother to protect her child’s identity.
“We didn’t even get an ‘I am sorry’ from Carroll,” the mother said. “Or from Carroll that she lost her temper. There was nothing and only complete denial.”
Carroll no longer works at Alamogordo Public Schools.