Judge grants bond to allow Prairie du Chien principal to return - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Judge grants bond to allow Prairie du Chien principal to return to work

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Prairie du Chien, WI (WXOW) - -

A Prairie du Chien principal made his first court appearance in a Crawford County Courthouse Wednesday.

Aaron Amundson is charged with felony child abuse after he used a chemical cleaner to remove a swear word on student's hand, that ended up burning the student.

Amundson is the principal at Bluff View Intermediate School. Students and families could be seen in the courtroom behind him. All those WXOW talked to said they were there to support Amundson in the case.

Amundson's attorney says the question isn't if the act happened, it's whether he was reckless in doing so. The judge gave Amundson a $1,000 signature bond and no direct contact with the victim, something his attorney argued in favor for instead of a no-contact period which was requested by the state.

"With other adults being present, with him certainly wanting to abide by the conditions of bail, it's reasonable for us to believe that it can be done to protect the student while still allowing him to do his job," Attorney Corey Chirafisi said. "Those are not mutually exclusive things."

A local attorney says there are three things a jury would need to consider before a guilty verdict on the child abuse charges. The state must prove Amundson committed bodily harm to the teen and the teen is under the age of 18. He said those two are easy to prove.

The most difficult element to prove according to attorney Jim Kroner is Amundson acted recklessly. 

"The jury in deciding whether or not it was reckless has to weigh what he did, why he did it, how dangerous the conduct is inherently, how obvious the danger was and whether the conduct showed any regard for the safety of the student," Kroner explained.   

Kroner says with the charge being a felony, it could have serious implications on his ability to his licensure for school work in Wisconsin.

The defense filed a motion to dismiss the case, but that wasn't taken up in today's hearing. Amundson will be back in court on May 31 at 2:30 to discuss the motion to dismiss as well as hold the preliminary hearing.

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