Judge Not

Randall Zimmerman was branded a child molester. A jury finally set him free.

In late April, Zimmerman received a letter with no return address that was simply signed "A juror." "I have thought about writing you for some time," it read. "It has been months since the trial, and I still find myself thinking of it often. I can't imagine how difficult it was for you and your family. I hope you are able to recover the life that you had before this trial. I don't claim to speak for God, but I believe He kept you free. I'm sure another jury could have found you not guilty within one hour. Perhaps another jury could have found you guilty. I hope you find the joy of Christ once again. God took care of you, and I hope you are grateful."

Zimmerman, now 39, is hoping to publish a book about his experience and is working on a Ph.D. in education at the University of Denver. He just accepted a job at a community college and has applied to almost every school district in the metro area; if he gets an offer, he'll consider taking it. He knows that if he does return to teaching kids -- which is what he feels he's best at -- he'll be vulnerable to further accusations. But it's a risk he's willing to take.

 
John Johnston
 
Former student Hillary Smith says Zimmerman was 
everyone's favorite teacher.
John Johnston
Former student Hillary Smith says Zimmerman was everyone's favorite teacher.

"Why should I let one disturbed person and one legal system that wasn't thorough stop me from doing what I love?" he says. "You just have to have faith in people."

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