Charges to be dropped in case of school employee accused of locking child in closet

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SULLIVAN COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – Former Holston View Elementary School Program Assistant Cherith Roberts has entered into an agreement on amended false imprisonment charges, according to court records.

Sullivan County Judge Jerry Beck approved the agreement yesterday, according to Assistant District Attorney Julie Canter.

Canter says prosecutors believe Roberts locked a child in a school closet to stop her from crying.

Roberts previously pleaded not guilty to child neglect and according to the agreed order, continues to maintain her innocence.

As a result of the agreement, Canter says Roberts will receive pre-trial diversion and prosecutors will dismiss the charges in July as long as she doesn’t get in trouble between now and then.

“This was a way of having some accountability without traumatizing the victim with a trial,” Canter said.

According to a Bristol, Tennessee School System spokesperson, Roberts remains on unpaid administrative leave.

Judge Beck previously dismissed the child abuse trial of former Holston View Principal Jerry Poteat after his attorney argued the wording in the indictment was “legally insufficient.”

Though the cases were separate, the alleged victim in both cases is the same kindergarten student, according to prosecutors.Copyright WJHL 2017. All rights reserved.

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