An elementary school teacher suspected of inappropriately touching up to seven underage schoolgirls has been acquitted by a court for lack of evidence, according to reports on Thursday.
The 36-year-old teacher was suspended by two elementary schools in June after they found out he was set to stand trial after being accused of assaulting between five and seven 9-year-old girls in a school in Heverlee, near the town of Leuven.
The teacher was suspended from the school following several complaints about inappropriate behaviour and games he organised in the classroom.
While the Child Abuse Trust Centre said that the teacher displayed "inappropriate pedagogical behaviour," a Leuven judge on Thursday declared that there was insufficient evidence to prove the accusations.
According to VTM news, the judge acquitted the teacher and ruled that he had "no sexual intentions with his actions."
During the trial, attorneys stated that the teacher had massaged the girls on their necks and shoulders and touched them on their knees and legs, which prosecutors described as acts that violated the children's physical and sexual integrity.
The prosecutor had originally asked for a 40-year prison sentence.
The Brussels Times