Evidence Tossed Out In Case Against Ex-Theater Director
The case against a former theater director accused of sexual contact with a student could be falling apart, after a judge on Thursday ordered some evidence in the case thrown out.
Lawrence Dibble, the former theater director at The Wellington School in Upper Arlington, is accused of fondling a former student and using a hidden camera to tape girls in a dressing room, 10TV's Kevin Landers reported.
Prosecutors planned to use those videos as evidence in the case, but a judge ordered them thrown out because information found on the initial police report did not match information on a search warrant used to seize items from Dibble's home.
The judge discovered that the investigating officer wrote on his report that there was one victim, but the officer told another judge who signed the search warrant that there were two, Landers reported.
J. Scott Weisman, Dibble's attorney, called the officer's statements "false and misleading."
"The judge absolutely suppressed the evidence because he found the detective used false and misleading statements in the affidavit to obtain the search evidence," Weisman said.
Prosecutors tried to make it clear that the detective's error was not intentional, saying there was no intent to mislead the judge who signed off on the search warrant.
It turned out that the alleged second victim was 18 years old and having a consensual relationship with Dibble, Landers reported. Her parents knew of the relationship, and the detective admitted knowing those details.
The detective said he called her a victim in his report because he thought there was a chance he could charge Dibble with something in connection with their relationship.
If convicted on all charges, Dibble could face a maximum of 17 years in prison.
The prosecutor's office did not say Thursday whether it could go forward with its case against Dibble.
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March 31, 2010:
Former Theater Director Out Of Jail After Voyeurism Charges
March 30, 2010: Ex-Theater Director Accused Of Taping Students Turns Self In
March 29, 2010: New Voyeurism Charges Filed Against Ex-Wellington Staffer
February 23, 2010: Sex Investigation Into Wellington Staffer Expanding
February 4, 2010: Man Facing Sexual Imposition Charges Never Applied For Ohio Teaching License
February 4, 2010: Wellington Staffer Charged With Gross Sexual Imposition
February 3. 2010: Man Accused Of Fondling Student