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"We began this child molestation trial in July 2008," Winfrey said in a statement Monday. "More than two years later, I am profoundly disappointed at the outcome of the trial. I will forever be proud of the nine girls who testified with the courage and conviction to be heard."
Tiny Virginia Makopo was accused of trying to kiss and fondle some of the students at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. She also was accused of assaulting one of the teens as well as a fellow supervisor.
Winfrey opened the academy in 2007 after investing six years and $40 million in the project. "I wanted to give this opportunity to girls who had a light so bright that not even poverty could dim that light," Winfrey said at the time, adding that she hoped to "change the face of a nation."
Unfortunately, just a few months after the institution opened its doors, accusations were made against Makopo and the school was under investigation by both U.S. and South African authorities.
A spokesperson for the prosecution said the court's decision to acquit Makopo would not be appealed.
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