Criminal charges have been dropped against a longtime Vermont police officer who was accused of assaulting a teenager.
Dave Scibek of Colchester is a former Burlington detective and former chief of the Malletts Bay Fire Department, who had been teaching high schoolers in the criminal justice program at the Burlington Technical Center.
In November 2017, a then-16-year-old female student complained that Scibek demonstrated a painful submission technique on her.
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In original court paperwork, investigators described the then-52-year-old asking the student to drop and do 20 pushups, after getting caught throwing a gum wrapper.
The teacher told detectives when the girl wouldn’t do those pushups, he demonstrated an old cop technique on her: applying pressure to a sensitive part of the head to make unruly suspects comply.
The maneuver allegedly caused the student pain and made her fall out of chair, making her hit a cabinet.
Scibek was placed on unpaid leave, but after a jury recently was unconvinced there was any crime committed, prosecutors decided there was no new evidence for a second trial, so they dropped the charges.
According to Chittenden County State’s Attorney Sarah George, the decision to not pursue further prosecution followed discussions with jurors and the teen at the center of the complaint.
In a written statement sent to Vermont news organizations, Scibek called the charges "baseless," and thanked his friends and family for their unwavering support.
"I have dedicated my entire adult life to helping others and serving the community," Scibek wrote in the statement, adding that he always aimed for professionalism and high standards of personal ethics. "This case has been a horrifying and unconscionable example of unprofessionalism and incompetence. You do not do this to honest, hard-working, law-abiding citizens."