New Trial for Former Waterloo Teacher

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By Kara Kelly

WATERLOO, Iowa --Long-time Waterloo teacher Larry Twigg, convicted of five counts of lascivious conduct with a minor for acts involving one of his students, has appealed. At his jury trial, the State presented evidence of Twigg’s similar conduct with two former students. Twigg claims the district court "erred" in allowing this evidence under Iowa Rule of Evidence 5.404(b), court documents stated.

During his trial, 55 -year-old Twigg was accused of convincing a 17-year-old student to make snow angels in his boxer shorts. He also poured "pineapple sauce, chocolate sauce, eggs, flour, milk and two different kinds of candy" in a bathtub on the young man.

After Twigg’s arrest, two of his former students came forward with similar claims. One student stated Twigg had him take off his clothes and get into the shower where Twigg cracked eggs and poured chocolate syrup on him. Another student was offered "sit-ups with half dozen eggs, push-ups," and "birthday suit."

Twigg was charged with six counts of lascivious conduct with a minor. Five of the counts related to his conduct with one of the students, the sixth concerned another. No charges were filed with the third student because he was not a minor at the time the acts were performed, court documents stated.

The defense argued his actions inexcusable, but not sexually motivated, and said Twigg suffered a head injury in an earlier traffic accident resulting in "diminished responsibility." According to court documents, an expert witness testified that he doesn't think he has a head injury, he thinks he is "cognitively intact."

"We conclude the district court abused its discretion in admitting the testimony of Twigg’s former student under Iowa Rule of Evidence 5.404(b). Because this admission of prior bad acts evidence was not harmless, we reverse the judgment of the district court and remand for a new trial," court documents stated.

Twigg was let go from West High in 2010. He was convicted in April 2011, and sentenced to a total of two years in prison on the convictions.
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