FIRST ON WITN: Former Teacher Assistant Found Guilty Of Assaulting Handicapped Student

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A Pitt County jury this afternoon found a former teacher assistant guilty of assaulting a handicapped student.

Jurors took three hours to find Cherry Taylor guilty of three counts of simple assault on a handicapped person. They found her not guilty on a fourth count.

Cherry, who worked at Elmhurst Elementary School, was arrested back in November. She was suspended from her job after being charged, and fired from the school district on March 17th of this year.

The 55-year-old woman was on trial for punching the student in the stomach at the school. She was also accused of making the boy punch himself three or four times in his nose, causing it to bleed.

The judge sentenced Cherry to serve 150 days in jail.

Her trial began Wednesday.


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Disturbing details were released Friday afternoon in the case of a Pitt County teacher assistant who is accused of assaulting a handicapped student.

Cherry Taylor turned herself in at the Pitt County Detention Center Thursday and was released on bond.

Arrest warrants outline the accusations against the 55-year-old woman. They claim on October 30th, Taylor punched the student in the stomach, and taking his own fist, made him punch himself three to four times in his nose, causing it to bleed. Another warrant says on the same day the woman choked the handicapped student with her hands and arm.

On November 5th, the teacher assistant is accused of kicking the boy in the side.

All four alleged assaults occurred at Elmhurst Elementary School, where Taylor worked.

Taylor was suspended with pay the day after the allegations were brought to the school district's attention, according to a statement from Pitt County Schools.

The woman did not attend her first court appearance Friday morning. Instead, her attorney appeared on her behalf. Her next court date is December 13th.


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A Pitt County teacher assistant was charged Thursday afternoon with assaulting a handicapped student .

Cherry Taylor turned herself in at the Pitt County Detention Center around 12:40 p.m.

Taylor was charged with four counts of assault on a handicapped person.

The school system says the alleged assaults happened at Elmhurst Elementary School and the victim was a student.

Taylor was released after posting bond. Her attorney says these are very serious charges that they hope to fight in court.

The woman was a teacher assistant in an exceptional children's classroom and the school system was informed of what happened on November 5th.

Pitt County says Taylor was suspended the following day. The woman has worked for the school system since 2007 and is suspended with pay, according to a news release.

The school system says Taylor had previously worked at J.H. Rose High School until August 2012, and her personnel file shows she was suspended in December 2011 for disciplinary reasons.


Pitt County Schools Statement

“In accordance with federal law, the school system is limited in what it can say about specific personnel matters, especially those that are related to a criminal investigation. However, any charge of assault is an unacceptable matter that the staff and Board of Education take very seriously. In this matter, the district acted promptly. We have worked closely with law enforcement, and there are currently no student safety concerns at Elmhurst Elementary."


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