Final charges dropped in ND Teacher of the Year sex case

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The final two charges in the case against the 2014 North Dakota Teacher of the Year, who was accused of having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old female student back in 2009, has been dropped.

Judge Steven McCullough ruled Monday that the charges against Aaron Knodel, a 36-year-old English teacher at West Fargo High School, are dismissed without prejudice – meaning he can not be re-charged unless new evidence is found, WDAZ reports.

Knodel initially faced five charges in the case. It went to trial this spring and the jury cleared Knodel of three of the five counts against him. But earlier this month, the presiding judge declared a mistrial on the remaining two charges after a juror became disoriented in court and had to be taken to the hospital. There, she reportedly told deputies she hadn't been truthful during the jury selection process.

Last week – a few days before Knodel's retrial was set to begin – prosecutors asked the judge to drop the remaining two charges after their request to delay the trial was rejected.

Prosecutors had asked the judge to dismiss the case with prejudice, however, Valley News Live reports.

Knodel was suspended as a teacher following the accusations against him. The state licensing board will be meeting Aug. 3 to discuss the future of Knodel's teaching license, Forum News reports.

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