Teacher Assault Court Appearance 30 Apr 14

A St. Peter High School teacher accused of dropping an 11-pound backpack on a sleeping student last fall was in court on Monday, but several key rulings about what the jury should be allowed to hear were postponed. Science Teacher Robert Shoemaker has been charged with assault and malicious punishment of a child for the incident, and his case is being heard in Brown County Court to avoid a conflict of interest in Nicollet County. Shomaker’s attorney filed a motion to suppress a statement he made while being interviewed by school officials about the alleged incident, arguing that past legal rulings have said teachers’ statements to administrators during disciplinary investigations cannot be used in criminal cases. A “miscommunication” had resulted in a summary of the interview being sent out instead of Shoemaker’s specific statement. Several other requests for information and interviews with school officials were made in court as well, and Brown County Judge Robert Docherty is expected to issue a ruling by May 14th.