Prosecutors have dropped a charge against a former Charlotte, N.C., schoolteacher now living in Statesboro who had been accused of improper conduct with a former student 30 years ago.
Monte Sue Diebolt, 73, had been charged in January in Charlotte with a felony count of taking indecent liberties with a child.
The charge was dropped Wednesday because there was no way to corroborate statements made by the former student, according to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg District Attorney’s Office.
“The District Attorney’s Office takes allegations of misconduct against children very seriously,” the office said in a statement. “In every case, our prosecutors must evaluate the evidence available to determine whether a defendant’s guilt can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. In this case, there was no evidence available to bolster the allegations of misconduct 30 years ago. There was a recorded phone call between the parties involved, but it did not include any corroborating evidence. After evaluation, prosecutors determined that there was not sufficient evidence or corroboration to prove the charge.”
The former student, now 41, first told Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officers in February 2012 that he had been forced to kiss and touch Diebolt inappropriately and against his will at Marie G. Davis School during the 1982-83 school year, when he was a sixth-grader at the school.
Charlotte attorney Melissa Owen said her client decided to come forward last year after talking with his family, according to The Associated Press.
The District Attorney’s Office cited that delay in explaining why it dropped the charge against Diebolt.
“The victim came forward in 2012 — some 30 years after the alleged incident,” the prosecution states in its court filing to dismiss the charge. “This is a very lengthy and unexplained delay in reporting.”
Owen told The Charlotte Observer in January that Diebolt apologized over the phone to her client before Christmas.
Diebolt’s attorney, George Laughrun of Charlotte, told the Statesboro Herald in February that his client drove to Charlotte from Statesboro with her husband and son and surrendered herself to police as soon as she learned of the arrest warrant against her.
However, the District Attorney’s Office noted that Diebolt “did not make confession or admission to the police.”
During the phone conversation with the former student, Diebolt “recalled the victim and certain events during that time but never confessed to the allegations made by the victim,” the District Attorney’s Office explained in its dismissal filing.