Defense Gets Case in Polston Trial, Tries to Create Doubt

By: Jamie Edmonds Email
By: Jamie Edmonds Email

The former Okemos High School teacher whom the alleged victim first confided in after graduation, took the stand Wednesday.

"I told her she should contact the police or tell her parents," Emalie Karp said. "I believe I was the first person she told."

That was 2007, what followed was the victim coming to a monetary settlement with William Polston. Fast forward to December 2009, Karp said she told another Okemos teacher the story, and that's when the school district got involved.

"Someone contacted us about an alleged relationship between a teacher and a student," Superintendent Catherine Ash testified, "by law we are required to report it to police and we did."

Superintendent Ash testified the district planned to investigate internally after winter break that year, but Polston resigned via email before they had a chance.

The Meridian Township Police lead detective was the final witness for the prosecution. During his investigation, he testified he had several meetings with the victim.

"She was very upset, she would cry when discussing the matter, the sexual relationship with Polston," Detective Andrew Tobias said.

In cross examination of Tobias, Defense Attorney Frank Reynolds tried to poke holes in the case. For instance why the detective didn't include in his report that the victim didn't initially recognize Polston's house when she saw a picture

The attorney who negotiated the settlement testified she gave the victim all the options, and she chose the settlement, the later declined to push that Polston be banned from teaching.

"When she realized if he were out of teaching, he wouldn't be able to pay, she changed her mind," Attorney Randi Black said.

Testimony which goes along with Reynold's opening statement that he believes this case is really about money.

The defense will continue its arguments Thursday. The jury could get the case as early as Thursday afternoon.

Before Wednesday's trial even got started, one juror had to be dismissed after having a conversation with one of Polston's family members after court Tuesday.


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