WATERLOO, Iowa --- Re-trial for a former Waterloo teacher accused of having inappropriate conduct with a student has been delayed.
Larry Twigg, 55, has been scheduled to go before a jury on charges of lascivious conduct with a minor next week.
But his attorney, John Bishop, told the court on Monday there was a scheduling conflict with a defense expert witness, a psychiatrist from Minnesota who testified at his 2011 trial, and the state hasn’t been able to have a deposition interview with the witness.
Judge Nathan Callahan tentatively set the trial date for March 12. He also approved up to $5,000 in expert witness fees to cover the deposition and trial appearance.
The court didn’t rule on Twigg’s request to move his trial out of Black Hawk County. The defense said publicity surrounding the case, including coverage of Twigg’s original trial, which was overturned on appeal, has made it impossible to receive a fair trial locally.
The appellate court said jurors shouldn’t have been able to hear testimony from two other former students who had similar encounters with Twigg that weren’t part of the charges.
Bishop said Monday any jury knowledge of the other two students would hurt his client.
“This is a situation where we need jurors who don’t know there were two other victims,” Bishop said. He suggested bringing in a sample jury to gauge the public’s familiarity with the case.
Assistant County Attorney Peter Blink resisted the request to move the trial out of Black Hawk County. He said the issue of prior publicity could be handled during normal jury selection.
Callahan directed both sides to put together a questionnaire for potential jurors but left the venue issue up to the trial judge.
Twigg didn’t appear for the Tuesday hearing because he has been in Ohio, Bishop said.
Twigg was arrested in February 2010 after a then-17-year-old student accused the West High teacher of having him take a chocolate syrup shower, play strip video games and make a snow angel in his boxers at Twigg's home to earn makeup assignments and earn money.
At trial, the defense argued the conduct wasn’t sexually motivated.