RACINE — Prosecutors dropped three criminal charges on Monday against a former special education assistant accused of molesting one of his students at a Caledonia elementary school.
Lewis Givens Jr., 37, is accused of touching a then-9-year-old special education student on several occasions between Dec. 21, 2010, and Jan. 10, 2011, at a Caledonia elementary school where he was working at that time. Givens worked as an educational assistant at Olympia Brown Elementary School, 5915 Erie St., when the alleged behavior occurred. He was charged in January 2011 with three counts each of sexual assault of a child and sexual assault of a child by a person who works with or volunteers with children — such as a school staff member. He is accused of inappropriately touching the then-9-year-old girl, who is nonverbal, on Dec. 21, 2010, and in 2011 on Jan. 6 and Jan. 10.
But Racine County Assistant District Attorney Robert Repischak on Monday filed amended criminal charges, dropping the three counts associated with him being a school employee, and refiling the three counts of first-degree criminal sexual assault of a child.
Defense attorney Christy M. Hall entered not guilty pleas, on Givens’ behalf, to those amended charges.
She had asked that the three charges be dismissed, and “As I was preparing the jury instructions, the child custodian courts require the child be 16 or over. That’s why the state conceded it (and dismissed those charges),” Hall said after the hearing.
Givens’ trial remains set for Feb. 12.
Givens, dressed in orange Racine County Jail scrubs for Monday’s hearing, has been jailed since Jan. 11, 2011, jail logs show.
But Hall on Monday also requested that all public information about Givens’ criminal case be removed from the Wisconsin Court System’s online case record site until the trial is completed. During the hearing, Repischak argued that he would not support sealing that public data. But it was a new request for Circuit Judge Charles Constantine.
“How do I do that? I’m not the custodian of (statewide) records. That’s a first for me. I don’t know if I can have the authority to do that,” Constantine said, visibly stymied. “It’s a public record.”
He ordered both sides back to court Feb. 1 to argue that motion, among others.
“I’ll have to take it up,” Constantine said.
After the hearing, Hall said she regularly requests that cases be removed from the public database known as CCAP, so jurors and prospective jurors can’t look up a case independently.
Repischak declined any comment after the hearing.