TUNKHANNOCK, WYOMING CO. (WOLF) — At the end of February, multiple sexually related charges were filed against, at the time, 26-year-old Ellen Kuzma, who was working as a Tunkhannock Area High School gym teacher and track coach.
During a hearing in April, the charges were then dismissed by a magisterial judge. Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. represents Kuzma and explains that the original complaint was insufficient.
“The complaint was insufficient and not filed pursuant to the criminal rules of Pennsylvania. We thought that the District Attorney knew that there wasn’t a good opportunity to refile charges, yet he did anyway” says Peter Paul Olszewski Jr.
Olszewski says that Wyoming County District Attorney, Joe Peters, refiled charges against Kuzma on June 5th. Following a five-hour long preliminary hearing on Tuesday, a different judge also dismissed the charges.
“The judge said there is no case here no way, no how. Get out of the courtroom” Olzewski Jr. stated.
Olszewski says that the new court ruling brought tears of joy to Ellen, who has been devastated since the charges were brought against her.
“This has been devastating to her. Devastating number one, that the District Attorney has defamed her name and number two, the District Attorney has ruined her opportunity to earn a living” says Olzewski Jr.
In a statement sent to FOX56, D.A. Peters says,
“While we respect the system and thus will give deference to the court’s ruling, we are disappointed with the decision. We believe these students. We also believe in the factual basis and legal sufficiency of the evidence to have brought the charges in good faith, and that is why we fought for these students. As such, we will review any appropriate and viable options”
Originally, Wyoming County Children and Youth sent three referrals to the Tunkhannock Township Police Department regarding a high school gym teacher.
Olszewski feels that it is concerning that referrals were sent about Ellen, when the arresting officer allegedly testified that there was no evidence.
“He concluded that there were zero zero inappropriate text messages from Ellen Kuzma to any student. What does that tell you about Wyoming County Children and Youth services” Olzewski Jr. said.