FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WKRG) — For 15 months, since his arrest, Danny Hamilton only wanted to hear two words, “not guilty”. Thursday afternoon he got his wish.

“As bad as it could have been, it is just that good now.”  Alongside his defense attorney John Beck, Hamilton spoke for the first time.  “This process has been traumatic for myself and my family.”

Hamilton faced 8 counts of sexual misconduct with a student at Central Baldwin Middle School. This week, a jury heard three days of testimony and came back with a unanimous “not guilty” verdict 15 minutes after getting the case.

“As the jurors went by me, as they walked out, every one of them shook my hand or hugged my neck and told me early in the process they knew I was innocent of the charges,” said a grateful Hamilton.

Future legal options are being explored, according to Beck. “I think there is accountability that needs to happen about the way this process got started and the lack of a thorough investigation.”

But for now, Hamilton is happy to move past this chapter and hopefully back into the classroom.  “I had a special connection with students I teach.  I’ve been a positive role model in their lives and I want to continue that.”

Hamilton had been on paid administrative leave from the Baldwin County School System. It’s unclear what’s next. In a statement this afternoon, the school system declined to comment on the mater at this time.