Charges dropped against teacher accused of having sex with teens

Charges dropped against educator accused of sex with teenage boys

A longtime San Bernardino educator accused of molesting two teenage boys is beginning to restore her reputation after the charges against her were dropped, her attorney said Tuesday.

Amy Bramlett, 46, was arrested in September and charged with having unlawful sexual contact with a 16- and 17-year-old–-the latter a former student of hers at Indian Springs High School in San Bernardino.

Days later, Bramlett was placed on unpaid leave by the San Bernardino City School District, and her photowas released to the public because investigators believed “there may be additional victims,” according to a news release.

On Monday, the San Bernardino County district attorney’s office asked Superior Court Judge Steve Malone to dismiss all charges against her, citing insufficient evidence.

The two accusers each recanted their testimony that they had sexual relations with Bramlett, her attorney, Michael Scaffidi, said.

One boy alleged that he and Bramlett had had a sexual relationship while he was questioned by detectives for burglarizing her home, Scaffidi said. After he was released, he confessed to his father that he lied about the sexual relationship.

The other accuser repeatedly denied having sexual contact with Bramlett but changed his story after an hour-long interrogation where investigators said “it would help Ms. Bramlett if he said they had sex,” Scaffidi said.

The prosecutors conducted a follow-up investigation into the case, said spokesman Christopher Lee in an email.

“At this time, we are unable to move forward with the case,” Lee said.

Outside the San Bernardino Justice Center on Monday, Bramlett told KABC-TV, "I'm just relieved right now, and I'm just so thankful that this nightmare is over.”

Bramlett wants to restore her reputation, which includes seeking to be declared “factually innocent” of the unlawful sexual contact with a minor, which will expunge the charges from her record, her attorney said.

Less certain is when Bramlett will return to work full time for the school district, where as program specialist she oversees student testing.  

District officials are working with Bramlett and the teachers’ union to develop a plan for her return, district spokeswoman Maria Garcia said. Although Bramlett has not been compensated for about three months, she’ll be eligible for back pay upon her return, Garcia said.

To ease Bramlett’s transition back to work, the district plans to use restorative justice techniques.

“It’s important to make things right when relationships have been harmed,” Garcia said.

For breaking news in California, follow @MattHjourno. He can be reached at matt.hamilton@latimes.com.

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