School employee pleads not guilty to child seduction
CLARK COUNTY, IN (WAVE) – A southern Indiana high school employee pleaded not guilty Monday to a charge of child seduction.
Alonzo Richmond was charged Wednesday by Clark County prosecutor Jeremy Mull. Richmond was an employee at Silver Creek High School as a club sponsor for theater.
A complaint was made to the Indiana State Police post at Sellersburg by the child's parent. Troopers investigated the alleged incident on Saturday, then turned the facts of the case over to the Clark County Prosecutor's Office who filed for an arrest warrant.
According to court documents, Richmond walked the 17-year-old student to his car, hugged him and kissed him after a theater event at the Silver Creek Township Park in Sellersburg. During the kiss, Richmond allegedly grabbed the teen's buttocks several times. Another teen told police he witnessed the incident, according to an affidavit. The affidavit also said Richmond admitted to kissing the teen.
Documents stated Richmond and the student would often talk about sex. Richmond would allegedly try to convince the student that he was homosexual and to break up with his girlfriend.
In a statement to WAVE 3 News, West Clark Community Schools said they are aware Richmond is under investigation by State authorities. They explained that Richmond is an extracurricular activity sponsor but has never been a certified teacher employed by West Clark.
"The circumstances for which Mr. Richmond is being investigated allegedly took place off school grounds, at an event not sponsored or endorsed by West Clark," the district said in a press release. "West Clark is cooperating fully with all investigating agencies. Upon advice of Corporation Counsel, West Clark is not at liberty to comment on details under investigation."
JCPS confirmed Richmond was an employee with the drama program at Youth Performing Arts School. In an email to WAVE 3 News, JCPS said that although the investigation does not involve JCPS students, "the employee will not be working with our students or in the building until this case is resolved."
Richmond's attorney, Niles Driskell, said all the facts that have been released to the public should be taken with a grain of salt.
"The system affords us the opportunity to investigate and discover what will be the legitimate facts, evidence and circumstances in this case," Driskell said. "We look forward to the opportunity for everything to come to light and be given the opportunity to clear my client's name."
Richmond is currently out on bond but is scheduled to return to court on Nov. 16 for his pre-trial conference. The judge has ordered a no-contact order for the witness in this case.
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