Former Hillsborough educators cleared of child abuse, will return to district

Two Hillsborough County educators accused of child abuse will return to the district after their charges were dropped.

TAMPA, Fla. - Two Hillsborough County educators accused of child abuse will return to the district after their charges were dropped.

Michael Hoskinson, the former principal of Coleman Middle School, and his wife Kimberly, formerly a teacher at Plant High School, both resigned following their arrests in November.

"Our mission is to keep the community safe and pursue justice, while promoting a fair and equitable criminal justice system," the State Attorney's Office said in a statement. "We follow the rule of the law and do not pursue charges unless we have a good faith belief based on the evidence that the person committed the crime of which he or she is accused. In working with law enforcement during a thorough investigation of the Hoskinson case, we determined that a key witness fabricated and manipulated evidence and that there was not credible evidence to pursue the charges at issue. Accordingly, we have declined to file charges and have closed the investigation."

What started as an argument with a family member turned physical when Kimberly Hoskinson pushed the victim and Michael Hoskinson punched the victim twice in the ribs, investigators said at the time.

"The Tampa Police Department made arrests in the Hoskinson case based on probable cause and in the interest of protecting a victim," the department said in a statement. "As is standard in such cases, the investigation continued after the arrest. As a result of that thorough investigation new information came to light, which resulted in the actions announced by the State Attorneys Office today." 

The Hoskinsons, who were silent as they wiped tears from their eyes during a Monday afternoon press conference, will meet with district officials within the next few days to determine their future positions.

"The district is sensitive to everything the Hoskinsons have gone through," Hillsborough schools said in a statement. "Their positions with the district have not been determined at this time."

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