NEW YORK – All charges were dropped against an intern at an up-scale Manhattan preschool near the United Nations who was accused of molesting 13 children.
Malthe Thomsen, 22, was cleared before a packed courtroom on November 13 by prosecutors who said that “after a careful and thorough investigation” they decided they “could not prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Mariangela Kefalas, who made the accusations, was fired. “She is suing International Preschools for what she claims was wrongful termination…Kefalas first reported the allegations to her bosses, who cleared Thomsen internally after interviews with staff and observations….After she was let go, she went to police with her story about Thomsen,” the News reported.
Patrick Boyd, Kefalas’s attorney, told The National Herald the decision of the prosecutors “no impact on her suit or the merits of her suit. Our client was brave enough to speak out for children because she was concerned. The school fired her for doing so which is wrong and unlawful.”
Prosecutors had previously revealed that all but one of the 4- and 5-year-olds allegedly molested at the International Preschools on E. 45th St. had denied there was any wrongdoing.
“Thomsen, who hails from Denmark and worked at the school as an intern, and his parents broke down in tears after hearing the news at an afternoon hearing in Manhattan Supreme Court. Thomsen said he was ‘relieved most of all’ and vowed to pursue his ‘passion’ of teaching after he finishes school in Copenhagen…The allegations by the co-worker, Mariangela Kefalas, would not bring him down, he said,” according to the Daily News.
“I won’t let one person and a crazy justice system ruin that…I really don’t know what to say about Mariangela because at no point in time I’ve been able to comprehend why she’s done the things she’s done,” he added.
Thomsen told the press that he has job offers in Denmark.
The News reported, however, that “Prosecutors cleared Thomsen ‘as a legal matter’ but refused to adopt the coerced confession argument his lawyers put forward because of a lack of corroborating evidence…The people thoroughly investigated these claims and found no evidence that the defendant’s statements were improperly obtained or that they were false,” Assistant District Attorney Rachel Ferrari said.
Jane Fisher-Byrialsen, Thomsen’s lawyer, “has previously said Thomsen was coerced by lying investigators who said they had footage of him engaging in the conduct, which was untrue…Thomsen is considering a federal lawsuit,” the News added.
Thomsen was arrested in June and charged with 15 counts of sex abuse in the first degree, but prosecutors never asked a grand jury to indict him. He posted $400,000 bail in July after being held at Rikers Island for a number of weeks.