Second day of trial for teacher Henrico accused of sexual assault ends

HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) — A three-day jury trial is underway for a Henrico middle school teacher — accused of sexually assaulting a student at Short Pump Middle School in 2017.

Dean Lakey was charged with rape and forced sodomy, but those charges have since been changed to oppose sexual assault and indecent liberty with a minor following the victim’s testimony on Tuesday.

The former Short Pump Middle School was 14 at the time of the alleged incident but is now an adult. While the victim testified there were multiple encounters with Lakey, the Commonwealth is only prosecuting one specific incident in March 2017.

Lakey pleaded not guilty.

More possible victims in Henrico teacher sexual assault case

Lakey is a physical education and health teacher at the school. Court documents also show that he coached football and basketball teams. When last checked, the district said Lakey was on unpaid administrative leave.

On Wednesday, a 13-person jury heard the second day of closing arguments from the prosecution and defense.

The prosecution cited a former nurse from Short Pump Middle School and an expert witness from “Stop Child Abuse Now” (SCAN), who argued that it is not unusual for victims of abuse to wait for years before appearing.

In response, the defense brought Lakey’s daughter and several former colleagues to the stand, who testified in defense of Lakey’s integrity.

When asked if Lakey’s reputation as a teacher and coach was positive or negative, many of his colleagues testified that he had an excellent character or could not recall a case where the character or the Lakey’s sincerity had been questioned.

They also testified that according to college policies, if a PE teacher needed to go to the bathroom, they could not leave their class unattended and must have a back-up blanket for their class while they were away. Several testified that they could not remember a time when the former teacher had left his students alone to go to the bathroom.

Other colleagues have described Lakey’s time working for the Richmond Strikers Soccer Club in addition to coaching multiple sports around the time the alleged incident occurred.

The defense also presented the victim’s grades for the 2016-2017 school year following the time of the alleged incident, which was an A – a significant fact as the victim testified that his grade dropped as a result of the alleged abuse.

Calendars showing Lakey’s coaching commitments, in addition to calendars marking the day the Tech Student Association would meet, of which the victim was allegedly a part, were also shown by the defense to further emphasize that Lakey would have few opportunities to follow. the victim to the bathroom alone for the alleged abuse to take place.

Lakey also provided receipts and images of phone and text recordings, which he says proves he was never alone with the victim because he was too busy coaching or taking care of other jobs.

Lakey was questioned by the prosecution as to why the receipts were only being presented now and not earlier in the case when he was first contacted by child protective services while living in North Carolina in 2021. Lakey says he was never asked to provide them to the child. protective services or detectives. He said he could provide his cell phone to the court to confirm that his records were not tampered with.

Lakey maintained his innocence when asked directly if he ever left class early to follow the victim to the bathroom or if he ever sexually assaulted the victim in any way.

Closing arguments are scheduled to resume for the third and final day of the trial Thursday at 9:30 a.m.

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