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Teacher acquitted in abuse case

Two second-grade girls had accused their music teacher of abusing them during class in 2003.

By Chris Tisch
Published July 1, 2005


Today's Times: Girl, 8, takes stand to describe abuse

LARGO - A jury on Friday took less than an hour to find an elementary school music teacher not guilty of sexually abusing two of his students.

Mark Fronczak cried and received hugs from his lawyers and fiancee after the verdict was read. Across the courtroom, the mother of one of his accusers buried her head in her husband's shoulder and shook and sobbed.

"I just want to experience what freedom feels like," Fronczak said after the verdict. "It's been an excruciating year and a half."

Fronczak, 50, was a music teacher at Southern Oak Elementary School in Largo when two second-grade girls accused him of abusing them in his classroom in late 2003. The children said Fronczak touched them as the rest of the class watched a video.

Pinellas sheriff's detectives arrested Fronczak in April 2004. He was released from jail after posting $220,000 bail, but was forced to wear an ankle bracelet. Fronczak would have been imprisoned for life if convicted.

See tomorrow's Times or for the full report.

[Last modified July 1, 2005, 18:47:43]

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