DES MOINES, Iowa — A former Johnston teacher accused of groping and making sexual comments to an anatomy class student denies those accusations but has resolved the case by agreeing to accept a misdemeanor charge.

Dustin Mead’s attorney Guy Cook says his client entered an Alford plea Monday to harassment. The Alford plea means Mead acknowledges there’s enough evidence for a jury to reach a guilty verdict but he maintains he didn’t commit the acts alleged.

Mead resigned from his teaching job at Johnston schools in April 2017 after a female student alleged he gave her grades she didn’t earn, made sexual comments and groped her during the 2015-2016 school year.

Mead, who is 34, pleaded not guilty to sexual abuse and sexual exploitation by a school employee and Cook says those charges will be dropped by prosecutors.

Cook says prosecutors have agreed to seek two years of probation and a deferred judgment at an April 9 sentencing hearing. That means if Mead successfully completes probation he can ask the court to remove the harassment charge from his record.

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