Charges against a Fayette County educator who was accused in 2017 of molesting two Nuttall Middle School students have been dismissed, due to a procedural issue, officials said Monday.
Sixteen sexual assault and abuse charges against Victor Glen Whitt, 59, of Hico, were dismissed following a Jan. 19 hearing because Whitt had not gone to trial since his 2017 arrest.
In addition, no continuance order had been issued on the case, Fayette County Prosecuting Attorney Anthony Ciliberti confirmed Monday.
Raleigh County Circuit Court Judge Andrew Dimlich, who had been appointed a special judge in the case, dismissed the charges following a Jan. 19 hearing, due to the lack of legal movement on Whitt’s case.
Fayette County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Whitt in May 2017 after a woman notified police that Whitt had attacked her sexually when she was a student at the now-closed Nuttall Middle School.
Whitt was a teacher at the school at the time of the alleged attacks, which occurred from August 2001 to June 2003.
Police charged Whitt with six counts of second-degree sexual assault and seven counts of sexual abuse by a person in a position of trust, all felonies.
He was released on $100,000 bond.
In August 2017, a second former Nuttall Middle student told police that Whitt had also attacked her when she attended the school. Deputies arrested Whitt on the new charge, charging him with an additional six counts of first-degree sexual abuse and nine counts of sexual abuse by a person in a position of trust. Those are also all felonies.
Whitt was released on the previously posted bond, Fayette Sheriff Mike Fridley reported at the time of the arrest.
Fridley said the two women who reported the alleged attacks seemed to have no connection and that they had attended the school at different times.
Fayette grand jurors indicted Whitt on all 16 charges in January 2018.
Following his indictment, Whitt requested through his attorney that Fayette Circuit Court Judge Paul Blake recuse himself, since Blake had been prosecutor when some of the alleged incidents occurred.
Blake recused himself, and the case was sent to Fayette Circuit Court Judge John Hatcher.
When Hatcher retired in November 2018, Gov. Jim Justice appointed Fayette Circuit Judge Thomas Ewing to fill Hatcher’s vacancy, and Ewing inherited the Whitt case.
Ewing immediately recused himself from the case, Ciliberti confirmed, and Dimlich was appointed special judge in the case.
For six court cycles, there had been no trial in Whitt’s case and no continuance order. The last activity on the case was in October 2019, prompting Dimlich to dismiss the charges, said Ciliberti.
Former Fayette Prosecuting Attorney Larry Harrah and former Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Elizabeth Campbell had first represented the state on Whitt’s charges. The last court action taken on the case was in October 2019.
Harrah resigned on Dec. 31, 2019, and Campbell continued to represent the state until Nov. 13, when she resigned.
There was no prosecutor assigned to the Whitt case from Nov. 13 until Dec. 1, 2020, when Ciliberti took office as prosecuting attorney.
Under the U.S. Constitution, defendants have a right to a speedy trial.
Whitt was a teacher at Nuttall Middle School, which is now closed, at the time of the alleged assaults. He had also been principal at Ansted Middle School and assistant principal at Valley High School.
Fayette Sheriff Mike Fridley was not immediately available on Monday to comment but had said in 2017 that he believed there could be additional victims in the case.