Norfolk, Va. - A Campostella Elementary School Teacher admits to the judge what she did is wrong, hitting one of her students in class. But even after accepting responsibility, the judge did not find her guilty.
Caroline Roskowski had no words for NewsChannel 3 after she pleaded no contest to two charges: assault and battery and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
"No comment," Roskowski said.
In a Norfolk Juvenile and Domestic Relations courtroom Wednesday morning, she pleaded guilty to hitting one of her students. It was a story NewsChannel 3 first told you about back in June when the little girl's mom, Verlisa Staley, contacted us.
"She got off the bus at 4:30pm, she came in the house and approached me and told me her teacher had struck her. I said, 'What do you mean the teacher struck you,' she said, 'Momma, she hit me and made me pee on myself,'" Staley told us back in June.
Ever since that day, this mom has been taking action. She says at first police wouldn't press charges, so she physically took her daughter to testify to a magistrate who then issued a warrant for Roskowski's arrest. Staley says she brought her daughter back to testify in court today for Roskowski's trial. But that didn't happen.
"It was like a slap on the wrist," Staley said.
Instead, Roskowski pleaded a Guilty No Contest Plea, which means she's admitting guilt. As a part of her plea, Roskowski must comply to certain conditions, she must take classes and be on good behavior for the next year. If she does so, then her charges will be dropped.
"She's saying she's guilty, she should be charged guilty. There is no ifs, ands or buts about it. She's been abusive to my child." Staley adds.
Staley feels this was a decision made between the Commonwealth's Attorney and Roskowski's defense attorney that she wasn't okay with.
"I felt like nobody was on my side. It wasn't about me today. It wasn't about my child. It wasn't about what I took out on this teacher, it was about she got busted, " Staley added.
However, a spokesperson with the Commonwealth's Attorney's office Staley knew Roskowski was going to plead no contest before court began and didn't express any issues with it. In an email, spokesperson Amanda Howie told NewsChannel 3 the following:
"Once the prosecutor learned the defendant was prepared to plead guilty no contest, she discussed the update with the victim’s mother. The victim’s mother said she was glad her daughter would not have to testify and that the case was being resolved. She mentioned something about a civil case and we explained that our office is not involved in such matters. After the hearing, the prosecutor asked the mother whether she had any questions about what took place and she said she did not have questions," Howie wrote.
Staley still felt like she fought this battle on her own.
"There is nothing I can do based on what happened today," Staley added. "It's like my rights were swept under the rug."
We reached out to Norfolk Public Schools to see if Roskowski is still a teacher at Campostella Elementary, but they refused to tell us. In fact, they wouldn't even say if Roskowski was ever a teacher there.
"Although the school division cannot provide details of investigations involving specific students, Norfolk Public Schools takes assault allegations and parent concerns seriously and the school division will take appropriate action," wrote NPS spokesperson Elizabeth Mather.
As the court is taking Roskowski's guilty plea under advisement, she has to have good behavior for one year and successfully complete a graduate level class on classroom instruction during that time period. She will be back in court next year on August 3rd, 2016.
The Commonwealth's Attorney says if Roskowski abides by these conditions, her charges will be dropped.