Sounding like a Chris Rock joke gone terribly awry, a former first-grade teacher in Texas insists she is too racist to have fondled a 7-year-old female student in her classroom.
Esther Irene Stokes, 61, taught at Northwest Preparatory Academy in Humble, Texas. She's charged with indecency with a child in an incident that allegedly occurred April 10.
But Stokes is relying on a strange defense: She claims that she doesn't like touching black children, reports the Houston Chronicle.
The 7-year-old victim reportedly said that she was in the classroom alone with Stokes, and that Stokes "touched her on the outside of her clothes, on what she called her 'private part,' her vaginal area," a Humble police detective told Houston's KHOU-TV.
A questionable legal defense, "Stokes said she doesn't like to even touch the black children on their hand, she shies away when they try to hug her -- she admitted to being prejudiced," the detective said.
As Stokes pursues her peculiar defense tactic, she's being charged with a felony, according to the Harris County Sherriff's Department.
Though the alleged conduct didn't involve contact to the first-grader's bare skin, it doesn't matter. Under Texas law, it's a second degree felony for a person to touch a child's anus, breast or genitals through clothing.
Stokes failed a polygraph examination conducted by Humble police, the Chronicle reports. But it's important to remember that courts don't actually have to admit lie detector results as evidence, according to a U.S. Supreme Court case that specifies how courts deal with scientific evidence.
The main problem with polygraph tests is that nervousness or anxiety can sometimes lead to false positives. But even if the test isn't used in court as a "smoking gun," it can still be used by police during questioning.
Charter school officials fired Stokes after conducting an investigation, according to a news release from Miracle Education Systems, which operates the academy. Stokes is set to be arraigned May 21, the Chronicle reports.
- Esther Irene Stokes, 'Racist' Teacher, Denies Molestation Charge, Claims She Doesn't Touch Black Kids (The Huffington Post)
- Disneyland Character Refused to Hug Black Kids, Lawsuit Claims (FindLaw's Legally Weird)
- Man Admits He Molested Kid in Cop Job Interview (FindLaw's Blotter)
- Child Abuse Penalties and Sentencing (FindLaw)