LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A judge dismissed charges Wednesday against a Miramonte Elementary School teacher accused of committing a lewd act against a student after prosecutors said the alleged victim in the case refused to testify.

KNX 1070’s Margeret Carrero reports the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office was unable to proceed with their case against former teacher Martin Springer.

Judge Charlaine Olmedo dismissed the case after the prosecution’s witness – who is now 12 years old – said she was “very traumatized” after testifying in court during the preliminary hearing.

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Prosecutors with the District Attorney’s Office said because the alleged victim’s testimony is “essential to the case”, they would not move forward without her testimony.

“We had to really wait right up to the moment to get a final answer from her… and the answer is she does not wish to come back to testify,” said Deputy District Attorney Alison Meyer.

Springer faced up to 12 years in prison after pleading not guilty in February 2012 to three felony counts of committing a lewd act.

Springer’s attorney John Tyre applauded the judge’s decision in the case.

“I’m excited for my client in that we’ve been dealing with this for two years now, and that now he can put this matter behind him,” Tyre said.

The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education voted unanimously in February 2012 to fire Springer, who had taught at Miramonte for about 25 years.

Loyola Law school professor Laurie Levinson told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO the case against Martin Springer was never very strong, and that he could potentially file a civil suit of his own.

“It has destroyed his job, his reputation, and who knows if he’ll file a suit,” Levinson said.

Prosecutors said the case could be refiled should the victim change her mind within the statute of limitations.

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