22-year-old Malthe Thomsen was an intern at the International Preschools on East 45th Street earlier this year. In May, an assistant teacher accused him of interacting with students in a way that "bordered on inappropriate touching." A criminal complaint claimed he molested 13 children aged 4 to 5, with allegations including that he had them fondle his genitals over his clothing. He was arrested on sexual abuse charges in June.
Investigators interviewed all 13 children, however, and found only one recalled being touched by Thomsen in a way that might be deemed inappropriate. An internal investigation conducted by the school found no troublesome behavior on Thomsen's part. The teaching assistant who initially accused him of molestation was fired soon after accusing Thomsen, and was deemed a non-credible witness. And though Thomsen allegedly confessed to the crime during a seven-hour interrogation in June, his defense argued that the confession had been coerced.
Yesterday, all charges against Thomsen were dropped, with the prosecution noting they could not "prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt." Thomsen says he will return to his native Denmark, where his parents were forced to mortgage their house to pay his bail and legal fees. "It has been five months of my life that I will never get back," he told reporters yesterday. He plans to continue to pursue a teaching degree in Copenhagen.