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Abuse charges dropped against ex-school official

Former Wichita assistant principal was accused of abusing a child at school

Prosecutors have dropped child sex abuse charges against a former Wichita elementary school administrator because of insufficient evidence.

Assistant District Attorney Justin Edwards asked or the case against Robert C. Baker to be dismissed before Baker’s preliminary hearing went forward Tuesday morning.

Baker, the former assistant principal at Cloud Elementary, 1212 W. 25th St. North, was accused in February of abusing a 6-year-old girl at the school.

Sedgwick County District Judge Ben Burgess signed an entry dropping the charges Monday afternoon.

“As an educator who spent his entire career of 36 years teaching and mentoring children, Mr. Baker completely understands that when a child makes an allegation of abuse, it must be taken seriously and thoroughly investigated,” Baker’s lawyer, Dan Monnat, said

Marc Bennett, chief deputy district attorney of the crimes against children division, said the investigation included medical experts studying an injury found on the child.

“The review by these experts raised questions concerning the nature and cause of the injury,” Bennett said. “Based upon this information, the decision was made that the state would not proceed further, and the matter would be dismissed without prejudice.”

“Dismissed without prejudice” is a legal term that means prosecutors can refile charges if stronger evidence later becomes available.

Monnat said the case boosted Baker’s confidence in the justice system.

“Mr. Baker and his family are grateful for a district attorney who, even after charges are filed, will continue to review charges and evidence to see that justice and fairness are finally achieved,” Monnat said. Baker is retired from the school district.

By Ron Sylvester