Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Former Liberty High School teacher, coach acquitted of sexual assault charges

By Andrea Sinclair Updated: April 16, 2014 at 1:51 pm

A former Liberty High School teacher and coach accused of sexually assaulting a student at the Colorado Springs high school in 2012 was acquitted of all charges Friday.

Travis Clark, 33, a former science teacher and boys basketball coach at the District 20 high school, was arrested in July 2012 after allegations arose that he had inappropriately touched a female student may have had a sexual relation with her.

The victim, a student in Clark's science class, told Colorado Springs police detectives that Clark had called on her to help him with basketball equipment on three occasions and he had inappropriately touched her the second time, according to the arrest affidavit.

But the victim's statements to investigators, school officials and friends didn't match up, said Clark's defense attorney, Eric S. Anaya.

"The student admitted that she was not being truthful during her interviews with detectives, and that she indulged when she talked to her friends about the situation," Anaya said.

The girl initially told police Clark had put post-it notes on her posterior with messages such as "very nice" written on them and had tried sliding his hand down her pants, but she told him to stop, the affidavit stated. Clark then apologized and asked her to keep the interactions a secret, the girl told investigators.

A student who reported the incident told officers the girl and Clark had oral sex at least once, but the victim denied that to detectives and school officials, the affidavit said.

Video surveillance footage showed the student helped Clark four times with basketball equipment and was recorded leaving the area on one occasion buttoning her blouse and fixing her skirt. During the trial, the defense showed the date when the student was seen adjusting her clothing on video did not correspond to any date when allegations of inappropriate conduct had been made, Anaya said.

"The victim herself said that nothing happened between her and Travis (Clark) on that day, and adjusting her clothing was just a common action," Anaya explained. "In the end, the evidence proved what the defense had been saying all along, that there was no way the charges could be true."

Clark quit coaching and teaching since the arrest in 2012, Anaya said, and recently moved to Albuquerque to work in accounting.

Clark was suspended by District 20 officials in March 2012, the same day school administrators were informed of the allegations and turned the investigation over to the police.

Clark coached the boys basketball team for two seasons and was replaced early in June of the same year.

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