Case Against Professor Declared a Mistrial

The New Paltz Oracle, April 6, 2006

By Hallie Martin, Assistant Managing Editor

Judge Frank LaBuda declared the case against Wade Thompson, the SUNY New Paltz English professor who was charged with sexual abuse and assault against a student last year, a mistrial due to credibility of the 41 year-old student who accused him of assault March 23.

Thompson, 82, was charged with felony counts of sexual abuse and assault and a misdemeanor charge of forcible touching. He is accused of whipping the student with a belt during a sexual incident in his home on April 19, 2005.

“There was absolutely no crime,” Thompson told The Oracle last year. “Everything that transpired was voluntary and happily voluntary and, in fact, instigated by her.”

Defense lawyers Ben Ostrer and Michael Mazzariello of Chester had a tape that conflicted with her previous testimony; the student told a third person of her obsession for Thompson. The defense also pointed out that she had been assaulted in 2002 in Warwick, but the Warick police believe that those injuries may have been staged. Before talking to the police about the attack, she hired a lawyer to file a civil suit against the college and Thompson and never told the district attorney about the lawsuit.

“There are big pieces missing out of this puzzle,” Ostrer said in his opening statement. “This was a consensual encounter.”

Though this was a mistrial, Thompson could still face a second trial on the charges.

Information compiled from The Times Herald Record.

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