Charges Dismissed Against West Orange Teacher Christopher Yonitch
Friday, October 4, 2013 • 9:00pm
WEST ORANGE, NJ - A grand jury has "no billed, " or dismissed, the charges leveled against Christopher Yonitch, the West Orange Washington Elementary school teacher arrested on February 7 and charged with 3 counts each of Sexual Assault 2C:14-2b and Endangering the Welfare of a Child 2C:24-4a. "No bill" is a term written by the Grand Jury foreman across the face of a bill of indictment, a "document prepared by the prosecutor stating the formal criminal charges against an individual to indicate that the criminal charges alleged therein against a suspect have not been sufficiently supported by the evidence presented before it to warrant his or her criminal prosecution."
As a result of the Grand Jury's decision that the charges were not supported by the evidence presented, Yonitch will not be prosecuted and the Prosecutor's Office cannot do anything more with the charges.
On Thursday, August 15, the West Orange Alternative Press spoke to Timothy Smith, Yonitch's attorney. At that time Smith said "the defense agressively investigated the charges" and collected statements and evidence which, in the opinion of the defense, was "wholly exculpable" of the charges against him. Smith also said that he would not accept any type of plea bargain, and maintained Yonitch's innocence
West Orange Interim School Superintendent James O'Neill told the Alternative Press that he was "disappointed that it took the County 8 months to have it determined that there was no case and all charges would be dropped. This is unfair to Mr. Yonich and it is unfair to the school district."
He continued by saying "I will discuss with the Board what our options are going forward. The district has several options. Mr. Yonich could be reinstated; he could continue to be suspended for indefinite amount of time; the district could decide to do our own investigation and decide on a course of action after concluding our own investigation." Yonitch has remained suspended with pay since his arrest.
The West Orange Alternative Press will provide more information as it becomes available.