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Jim Walters Acquitted on Lewd and Indecent Conduct Charge

Jim Walters, the former principal of Point Elementary School, was found not guilty.

Last updated 4:11 p.m. - With comment from the school district

Jim Walters, the former Point Elementary principal facing a citation for lewd and indecent conduct, is not guilty, the judge in the case decided today.

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In his judgement, Judge Joseph Murphy questions the veracity of the park ranger who originally accused Walters. (Read the full judgement as a PDF in the media section of this article.)

"This sole witness in this case did not provide clear, convincing and unrefuted testimony," Murphy said, adding later that he could not side with the City's case without the testimony of "an experienced, well-trained officer who presents consistent and credible evidence of an offense."

On March 16, the ranger wrote that he "observed subject Walters grab his genitals while talking to a man in a vehicle who later confessed to what was happening," he stated in the ticket.

Murphy said the wording in the summons is not enough to indicate Walters broke the law.

"If this court took the words of the summons as presented, the courts for the city of St. Louis would be inundated with cases brought against athletes for such behavior," Murphy said.

Walter's attorney, Neil Bruntrager, called the ruling a "vindication," saying, "This poor guy needs some closure.

In court last month, Brutrager presented surveillance video of the two Forest Park locations where the incident was supposed to take place. However, the videos show no evidence of lewd or indecent conduct or of any contact between Walters and a man in a white car, to whom Walters was accused of gesturing, according to the judge's report.

The video "clearly, convincingly and totally refutes the park ranger's testimony as well as his report narrative and deposition," Murphy said.

The Mehlville School District said today they would not comment on personell matters, but Superintendent Eric Knost said the school stands by its previous decisions.

The Mehlville school board voted unanimously to fire Walters in a closed meeting June 21. Superintendent Eric Knost placed the principal on paid administrative leave in March, pending a district investigation. He issued a letter to parents two months later saying Walters would not return to Point.

Walters had been the principal since 2007.

Retired Beasley Principal Jim Schibig took over for the remainder of the 2011-2012 school year. 

See Related Stories

  • Updated: New Principal Hired at Point Elementary; Walters No Longer Employed by District
  • Jim Walters Trial Delayed Until August
  • Jim Walters' Attorney: My Client is Innocent
  • Jim Walters Scheduled to Appear in Court Today
  • Superintendent Releases Letter About Walters Citation
  • Parents Defend Jim Walters After Indecent Conduct Citation
  • Confusion Surrounds Point Principal's Indecent Conduct Citation
  • Retired Beasley Principal to Step in for Jim Walters
steve rose October 30, 2012 at 04:39 PM
22.08.030 Park guards. The Commissioner of Parks shall have the authority to appoint park guards for the several parks of the City. Park guards shall be sworn in as private policemen (private security these days) pursuant to Section 84.340, Revised Statutes of Missouri, 1949, and shall be intrusted with the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter and shall have the assistance of the metropolitan police force in carrying out their duties. (Ord. 49771 § 1 (14), 1960: 1960 C. § 221.030.) Consequently, they are not even trained to meet the "most basic" police training criteria for anywhere else within the State of Missouri. Yet, somehow they are in charge of knowing the laws? 2 days of private security guard training and they have access to all your personal information thru the police information systems too. Are you kidding me? They most likely do not even know the elements of a crime, not to mention what constitutes one. I think the judge has seen the quality of the Park Rangers' work and also their need for real police management and training. Poor Jim Walter's had to be the test case, I guess.
Lenore Suedkamp October 30, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Back on 9/27, this was posted; "I remember back in March Walters being quoted as saying it was "all a misunderstanding".Then I remember Knost saying in print that Walters would be on "administrative leave until it was determined he was safe to work with children". So here is my confusion: March- Walters claims misunderstanding, Knost puts him on leave until determined safe July- Walters is fired and replaced Sept.- Video evidence appears to vindicate Walters' claim of "misunderstanding" I have heard rumors over the years of Eric Knost's unethical dealings with employees who were hushed with threats.Is this incident now revealing the "real" Eric Knost? If, as it appears, Walters never did anything,how much will this incident cost our district monetarily. And more importantly,after seeing what this has done to Dr.Walters and his family, how much will this cost us morally?Is Eric Knost worth it?" It was quickly taken down because the poster tried to exercise freedom of speech with some anonymity.Why not just be up front you might ask?Here is why.That afternoon, during school hours, the poster (a kindly Melville grandmother) was contacted by Knost. Within the conversation, Knost made references to "suing for libel" as a result of the post. So, while he is supposedly working for our district, Knost is spending work hours tracking down a kindly district grandmother, calling and threatening her. Now, post verdict, what about her post wasn't dead on the mark
Tim Stanton November 02, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Is it Mr. Walters or Dr. Walters? Off topic, but I am curious.
Darrell Bamm November 02, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Dr. Walters.
Tim Stanton November 02, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Thank you, Darrell!

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