Sex charges dismissed against former Kearny Mesa school for troubled children administrator
SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Sex charges were dismissed Monday against a former administrator at a Kearny Mesa school for troubled children, who allegedly carried on a sexual relationship with a female teenage student, but a prosecutor said she plans to re-file the case as soon as the results of newly tested DNA evidence are in.
Kettrell Berry, 51, was charged two years ago with 14 felony counts, including rape with a foreign object and unlawful intercourse with a minor.
Deputy District Attorney Renee Palermo told Judge Joan Weber Monday that based on defense discovery, the prosecution had some DNA evidence tested and wanted to present the results – expected later this week – at Berry’s trial, but the judge ruled the evidence inadmissible.
Since Berry insisted on going forward with trial immediately – which is his right – Palermo said she decided to dismiss the case and re-file charges when the new DNA results are available.
The then-16-year-old alleged victim testified in August 2012 that she established a bond with Berry soon after arriving at the San Diego Center for Children in December 2011.
The teenager said Berry would counsel her, meet her after school and listen to her problems. The girl said she and Berry began hugging at the end of meetings and the relationship turned sexual.
Berry, an assistant principal, was fired after nine years of working at the school.
Defense attorney James Pokorny, said at the earlier hearing that the alleged victim “despises” his client and would do anything to punish him for what happened.