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Winfrey Disappointed As Ex-Matron Cleared Of Abuse

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Oprah Winfrey opens a multi-million dollar school for poor South African girls she has funded on Jan. 2, 2007, in Johannesburg. (Photo by: AFP/Getty Images)

Oprah Winfrey opens a multi-million dollar school for poor South African girls she has funded on Jan. 2, 2007, in Johannesburg. (Photo by: AFP/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (AP) - Oprah Winfrey says she’s “profoundly disappointed” that a former dorm matron at her school in South Africa was cleared of charges of sexually abusing girls.

Winfrey issued a statement Monday praising the nine girls who testified at the trial of Tiny Virginia Makopo, who had pleaded not guilty to charges of abusing six girls at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls.

Winfrey had called the allegations crushing given her own stated history of childhood sexual abuse and promised an overhaul of the school.

Winfrey opened her lavish $40 million school outside Johannesburg in 2007, saying she wanted to give girls from deprived backgrounds a quality education in a country where schools are struggling to overcome the legacy of apartheid.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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