Judge Dismisses Head Start Sex Abuse Convictions

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Elyria, Ohio (AP) -- A judge in northeast Ohio has dismissed the criminal cases of a man and woman who had been convicted 15 years ago of sexually abusing children in a Head Start preschool program.

Lorain county Common Pleas Court judge James Burge on Wednesday tossed out the convictions of 52-year-old former Head Start bus driver Nancy Smith and 56-year-old Joseph Allen, both of Lorain.

Burge says he carefully reviewed their cases before deciding not enough evidence was presented at trial to convict them.

Smith had been accused of driving children aged 4 and 5 to Allen's home, where the sex abuse allegedly occurred.

Both had been in prison since 1994 but have been freed on bond since early this year, when Burge agreed they should be resentenced.

(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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