BUTLER – Charges have been dismissed against a Slippery Rock Middle School teacher accused of impropriety with students.
The Butler County District Attorney’s Office recommended the move in connection with the case of Robert Preston Willison, 52.
Willison had been charged with institutional sexual assault, corruption of minors, harassment, endangering the welfare of children and indecent assault. He was suspended from his job as an eighth-grade math teacher after charges were filed in October 2018.
Butler County Common Pleas Court Judge Timothy McCune dismissed the charges in a ruling posted Monday in the state’s online court database.
The district attorney’s office filed a motion Feb. 19 to drop the charges against Willison. Assistant District Attorney Laura Pitchford said evidence in the case had become “weaker” compared to when state police first filed the charges.
Slippery Rock Area School District Superintendent Dr. Alfonso Angelucci said Willison is no longer teaching in the district. He declined to say whether the former teacher was fired.
Angelucci would not say whether Slippery Rock would consider rehiring Willison because the district does not comment on personnel matters.
Willison’s attorney, Eric D. Levin of Rishor Simone in Butler, commended the DA’s office for examining the evidence.
“My client has vehemently denied the allegations and steadfastly maintained his innocence throughout the course of this matter,” Levin said.
Levin said Willison has dedicated his career to helping young people and to bettering the community.
“He would never violate the duty and trust placed in him as it relates to our children,” the attorney said.
Levin said Willison’s innocence became increasingly apparent after a review of the evidence, and that withdrawing the charges was appropriate.