Southern Indiana high school staff member charged with child seduction
Online court records show the charge was filed in Clark Circuit Court #3 Wednesday morning.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A southern Indiana high school employee is accused of kissing and fondling a 17-year-old student.
Thirty-year-old Alonzo Richmond is accused of kissing and fondling the student early Saturday morning after a theater rehearsal at a park in Sellersburg, Indiana.
Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull says one count of child seduction has been filed against Richmond, a staff member at Silver Creek High School. The school is located in Sellersburg.
West Clark Community Schools spokesperson Tony Hall says Richmond is not a teacher at the school, however Richmond is an "extra-curricular employee" assigned to the drama department. Hall also said the alleged incident did not happen at the school. The practice was not a school sponsored event, but police say several students were participating.
The child involved told police he and Richmond were the last two people to leave the rehearsal.
According to court documents, the alleged incident happened this month. Court records say Richmond hugged the child several times and made statements about homosexual pornography. Richmond allegedly walked the teen to his car, kissed him and grabbed his buttocks.
It's an offense Mull takes very seriously. "It's very important to me as the prosecutor that parents feel secure when they take their children to school, school events or events that are chaperoned by school employees and that their children are going to be safe from sexual activity with the school employees, so in those cases when they come to me, they will be prosecuted and we will hold those people accountable," Mull said.
According to Mull, statements Richmond made to police along with accounts from a 14-year-old witness to the incident were enough evidence to charge Richmond.
Mull says the charge is classified as a sex crime in Indiana. Mull also said he felt it was his duty to move on the case quickly as to protect children involved in the theater production.
West Clark Schools released a statement on Wednesday.
JCPS spokesperson Allison Martin says Richmond also worked as an employee with the drama program at the Youth Performing Arts School. "This investigation does not involve JCPS students, however the employee will not be working with our students, or in the building until this case is resolved," Martin said in an email to WDRB News.
Online court records show the charge was filed in Clark Circuit Court #3 Wednesday morning, and a warrant was issued for Richmond's arrest.
Richmond was booked into the Clark County Jail on Wednesday. If he's convicted of the crime, he could spend up to two and a half years in prison.
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