Alleged victim testifies in ex-shop teacher’s sexual battery trial

Becky Campbell • Oct 31, 2012 at 10:08 PM

A 16-year-old girl testified at her former shop teacher’s trial Wednesday that he put his hand up her shirt and bra and rubbed her breast during a December 2010 class.

The girl, who was 14 years old at the time, immediately reported the incident to school authorities at Daniel Boone High School and the teacher, 64-year-old Estel Kiser, of Elizabethton, was suspended that day. He’s charged with sexual battery by an authority figure.

Assistant District Attorneys Ken Baldwin and Kelly McCoy began presenting proof with the victim’s testimony.

The girl testified the class was very lax and Kiser was not strict at all. She said some of the guys in the class spent many days playing hacky sack, and she often slept or listened to music. On one of those sleeping days, the girl said she was lying face down on a table in the classroom and someone hit her on the buttocks. She looked up and Kiser was standing there, she testified.

That incident was brought up again when Washington County Sheriff’s Investigator Jared Taylor testified. He told the jury that when he interviewed Kiser after the girl made the allegations, the teacher said he never touched the girl’s breast or buttocks.

Taylor also testified that the buttocks incident wasn’t revealed by the girl during the initial allegation, but came out during the investigation.

The day of the alleged touching, the teenager had just completed a project of cutting a metal pipe with a handsaw. She testified that Kiser told her to throw the piece away when she got finished, but she told him he should frame it.

“He got up and he said, ‘Come here for a second,’ ” she testified. The teen said Kiser walked into a small storage area she called a closet, and then into another room that was a janitor’s closet.

“I thought he was going to give me a cigarette,” she testified. She said it was common for Kiser to put a cigarette on a shelf in the storage room for her. Instead, “he turned around …. he said, ‘Is your heart beating fast?’ ” and then put his hand on her chest on the outside of her shirt.

Then, the girl testified, Kiser put his hand under her shirt and bra and felt around.

“He put his hand on my stomach and patted my stomach and I walked out,” she testified. When Kiser went back into the classroom, the girl said she asked if she could go to another classroom and he said she could.

The girl said she took a friend into the hallway with her and told him what happened.

“He said ‘Kiser’s a real cool teacher,’ ” but that she needed to report what happened. The two went to the school office to talk to the principal and other administrators.

During cross examination by defense attorney Matt Bolton, he brought out that the teen had been suspended from school twice for lying to teachers and asked her about Kiser “scolding” her when he saw her doing work for another student.

The state rested its case Wednesday afternoon. The trial will resume today with the defense presenting its proof. Kiser is expected to testify today, according to his attorney’s opening statements. Kiser is free on $15,000 bond.

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