Teacher accused of fondling student says she’s too racist to be guilty

Sarah Hofmann Contributor
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Esther Irene Stokes, a 61-year-old Texas school teacher who has been accused of molesting a 7-year-old girl, says it’s impossible because she “doesn’t like black students because she was prejudiced.” The student alleges that Stokes touched her “private part” on the outside of her clothes, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Despite failing a polygraph, Stokes has responded to the charges by saying she is too racist to want to touch a black student, sexually or otherwise. Police detective J.  Blanchard said, “[Stokes] doesn’t like to even touch the black children on their hand, she shies away when they try to hug her — she admitted to being prejudiced.”

Her attorney, Patty Maginnis, says racism should not be a factor in deciding a verdict. “However, if the comments were in fact made,” she said, “they are not proof that any crime has been committed by my client. I would consider that just a personal opinion. The facts of the case will determine that she is innocent.

Stokes was fired, according to a release from Miracle Education Systems, which operates the charter school in question. She was arrested April 10 and is currently free on bail. Her trial is scheduled to take place May 21.

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Sarah Hofmann