Douglas B. Reeves, a nationally known education author and provider of professional development for school leaders, has been acquitted of charges of child molestation.
After a two-day trial, a district court jury in Lynn, Mass., found him not guilty April 4 of the one count that had been filed against him in 2012: indecent assault and battery of a child under 14.
“I’m grateful that the jury considered the evidence and came to the correct conclusion,” Mr. Reeves said. “The system, while not speedy, did work.”
The charge stemmed from a July 2006 visit by a then-9-year-old girl—with her younger sister and her mother—to the Swampscott, Mass., home of Mr. Reeves, a family friend. Now 17, the girl testified at the trial that when she and her sister were watching a movie, Mr. Reeves asked to get in bed with them, and touched the girl between her legs, according to Mr. Reeves’ lawyer, Max Stern.
The girl didn’t tell anyone about the alleged incident until she was in therapy in 2012 for depression and social difficulties, according to Mr. Stern. He presented an expert witness who said that the girl’s therapist had led her to make up the allegation.
The prosecution cited the detail in the girl’s story and rejected the argument that it had been fabricated, according to the Lynn Daily Item. Testifying at the trial, Mr. Reeves said he did not get into bed with the girls, but went into the room to get his computer so he could do work in another room.
Mr. Reeves, 60, the author of dozens of books and articles about school leadership and implementing academic standards and curriculum, founded the Englewood, Colo.-based Center for Performance Management in 1994. It was later renamed the Leadership and Learning Center, and was bought by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2011.
A spokeswoman for the publisher, which severed its consulting relationship with Mr. Reeves after he was charged, declined to comment.
Mr. Reeves now works as an independent consultant based in Boston.
A version of this article appeared in the April 16, 2014 edition of Education Week