VCU students react to school employee sex crime charges

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Tonight, the VCU campus is abuzz after news breaks of yet another VCU employee who is in trouble, charged with sex-based crimes involving minors.

It all came to light after an e-mail was sent out by VCU President Michael Rao, in which he provides details of the two incidents. One person is only facing sex charges right now, another was convicted of the crimes yesterday. Both incidents are unrelated.

The talk around the busy VCU Monroe Park campus tonight is centered around the two people hired by the school now facing some serious charges.

"It's just shocking, and it's surprising. You wouldn't expect someone that is so close to you on the same campus as you, just doing things that nobody ever expected," said student Amber Farmer.

"I actually wasn't terribly shocked. I think those things happen a lot places more than we imagine," said student Jordan Bradshaw.

The talk even went beyond these sidewalks. "One of my teachers was talking about it. We didn't go too much into it. Everyone is just speechless really," said student Helen Zeraye.

The man behind the first case is suspended campus police officer James Deford. A while ago, he did an interview with another reporter here at NBC12. Deford is facing two felony charges of distributing child porn. This news broke earlier this month.

Now, it's an email let the 50,000 or so connected with the school know of a second employee convicted of a sex based crime involving minors yesterday.

The school is quick to point out -- both crimes happened away from its campuses.

It's in the email from the President that he urges anybody to report any suspicious or wrongdoings that they see no matter who or what is involved.

A plea that's getting mixed reaction. "You say you are going to do it but you don't know if you're really going to do it until you're put in that predicament," Farmer said.

"After seeing all the incidents going around, I'm not scared to speak up about it," Zeraye added.

Tonight, VCU officials refuse to tell us who the second employee is that was convicted of these sex crimes with minors yesterday. Nor will the school tell us exactly if that person is still employed with the university.

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