Winfrey ‘disappointed’ as ex-matron cleared of sexual abuse charges

October 12th, 2010 - 2:47 pm ICT by ANI  

Oprah Winfrey Sydney, Oct 12 (ANI): The former matron, who was accused of sexually abusing students at Oprah Winfrey’s South African leadership academy, has been acquitted of the charges, and the talk show queen is ‘profoundly disappointed’ by the trial’s outcome.

Prosecutors had accused former school matron Tiny Virginia Makopo of trying to kiss and fondle girls at the school soon after it opened in 2007 outside Johannesburg. Makopo also had been accused of assaulting one of the teens as well as a fellow supervisor.

Mthunzi Mhaga, a spokesman for South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority, said that Makopo had been acquitted of the charges.

“The magistrate indicated that the state did not prove itself case beyond reasonable doubt on all the charges. We won’t be appealing the judgment,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Mhaga as saying.

Winfrey had called the allegations crushing given her own stated history of childhood sexual abuse and promised an overhaul of the school.

“I will forever be proud of the nine girls who testified with the courage and conviction to be heard,” Winfrey said in a statement. (ANI)

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