School Matron Acquitted of Abuse; Oprah Slams Verdict
'Forever proud of 9 girls who testified' against academy matron
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2010 5:11 PM CDT
Tiny Virginia Makopo at the start of her trial, Tuesday, July 29, 2008. The former dorm matron at Oprah's school for disadvantaged girls was acquitted on charges of assaulting students.   (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
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(Newser) – Oprah Winfrey lashed out today after a South African court acquitted a former dorm matron at her elite girls school on charges of molestation, reports TMZ. "We began this child molestation trial in 2008," she said in a statement. "More than two years later, I am profoundly disappointed at the outcome of the trial." The talk show queen lauded "the nine girls who testified with the courage and conviction to be heard."

The South African prosecutor said that "the magistrate was of the view that the state had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that she was guilty. We won't be appealing the judgment." Tiny Virginia Makopo had been charged with attempting to kiss and fondle girls at Winfrey's $40 million school, causing Winfrey to later tearfully apologize on her show.