Malthe Thomsen is hugged by his mother Brigitte as he exits the State Supreme Courthouse in Manhattan on Thursday. Photo: Brendan McDermid/Scanpix
A long American nightmare is over for 23-year-old Danish citizen Malthe Thomsen.
Thomsen was accused of sexually abusing 13 children at the upscale preschool where he worked in New York City. But on Thursday, all charges against Thomsen were dropped.
“We have determined that we cannot prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt,” the prosecutor, Rachel Ferrari, was quoted as saying by the New York Times.
Thomsen was arrested on June 27th on charges that he sexually assaulted 13 children. The young Dane steadfastly denied the accusations and claimed that he was duped by police into making a false confession.
Thomsen was held in Rikers Island, one of the US’s most notorious prisons, until being released on bail on July 8th. Threats from other inmates resulted in his transfer to solitary confinement and he has described the entire experience as “a nightmare”.
The case against Thomsen began to fall apart in August, when a hearing revealed that all 12 of the 13 involved children denied being sexually assaulted by Thomsen. The remaining child was said to have given “indications” of sexual abuse, but no further details were presented.
The International Preschool, where Thomsen worked as an intern, found the charges against him baseless in an internal investigation, and the allegations were said to have been based solely on the the claims of former colleague Mariangela Kefalas, a woman who Thomsen’s lawyer says was fired from the preschool for “creating so much drama”. According to the New York Times, Kefalas made her claims against Thomsen just days after being fired and is now suing the school for wrongful termination.
Thomsen himself plans to file a lawsuit now that the charges have been dropped.
“I am planning to seek compensation in order to clear my name and to clarify what happened. Plus, my parents have taken on a huge debt [in paying for legal fees, ed.] so I hope I can help them with that,” he told DR from court on Thursday.
The Times reports that Thomsen’s parents mortgaged their house in Denmark and racked up $200,000 in legal fees. Private donations have helped to cover some of the costs, according to Danish media reports.
Thomsen said the experience had soured him on the American justice system.
“This here is a system that simply doesn’t work,” he told DR.
Speaking to the New York Times, he said he would return to the Copenhagen area and pursue his dream of working in a daycare institution.
“That’s my passion. I won’t let one person and a crazy justice system ruin that,” Thomsen said.