EAST ST. LOUIS • A former East St. Louis Senior High School security guard acquitted of sexually assaulting a student is fighting to clear his name and win back his job.
Isaac Turner, 43, had been charged in August of the criminal sexual assault of a student in 2012. The female student who accused Turner was older than 13 but younger than 18 at the time.
Turner was found not guilty on Feb. 5 in a bench trial before St. Clair County Circuit Court Judge John Baricevic.
“The verdict was a huge relief,” Turner said this week. “I am legally in the clear. But my life was turned upside down.”
Turner said the student had accused him of taking her from the high school to a tavern that he was alleged to have owned. However, evidence showed that Turner did not own a bar and that the date in question fell on a Sunday, when the school was closed and there were no activities on the campus.
“I have always kind of been a public figure in my community,” said Turner, of the 5000 block of Old Missouri Avenue in Alorton. “I know a lot of people. And a lot of those people are still looking at me strange because they don’t know I’ve been found not guilty.”
Turner said he was working with an attorney to get his job back. He had been a guard at the high school for three years.
The East St. Louis School District did not return calls for comment.
Turner said that he had been in a relationship with a woman for 19 years and that the couple were raising four children.
Two of the children were forced to return home from colleges in Alabama because Turner could not pay their tuition.
Turner said, “The whole thing is a nightmare that has not ended.”