Life can start to get back to normal for Clifton Stovall. The Bellevue Logan-Fontenelle Middle School Para-professional had been accused of inappropriately touching a 12 year old girl last September. His attorney, Steve Lefler says a judge ruled on the evidence at a hearing and dismissed the case.
“So it wasn’t that the county attorney’s office dropped the charges, it was that there was actually a hearing where witnesses were called and at the end of the hearing, Judge Hutton determined there was not enough evidence for the state to proceed against my client, Mr. Stovall, which is what I thought was going to happen all along but that and a quarter will get you a cup of coffee that I think something is going to happen.”
Lefler says Mr. Stovall has a spotless record and an unblemished reputation in the community and is a much respected man.
“He is a good man, a good person from a good family who has committed their entire lives to the Bellevue Community. Mr. Stovall has been a lifelong mentor, coach, teacher, positive influence. One of the weird things that has happened throughout this is the 16, 17, 18 year old kids who he has helped. The 25 year old kids he has helped have called me to say how I can be of help to this wonderful man who has helped me through some tough times.”
Lefler says now that the legal ordeal is over, Mr. Stovall’s good reputation can be restored.
“Anytime there is a claim of a crime committed levied against you, I don’t know if you really ever get your name back. There will be a portion of the community that thinks he just had a good lawyer or there was a legal technicality and that is why he got off. I hope that because the Stovall family has such a rich and storied history in Bellevue that that won’t happen in this case and people will jump to the correct conclusion that there was obviously something wrong with the allegation to begin with.”
Lefler says the Bellevue School District supported Mr. Stovall throughout this ordeal. While it is not yet known if he will return to his position, Stovall has indicated he would once again like to work with children.