Jan Costley pleads guilty to hurting student in appeal - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Jan Costley pleads guilty to hurting student in appeal


A former Chesterfield teacher's aid was back in court Wednesday. Jan Costley was convicted of hurting a 12-year-old girl with autism in gym class. In an appeal of her first sentence, Costley plead guilty, agreeing to serve a month in jail.

A judge agreed to let her serve that time on weekends. She'll also have to complete 100 hours of community service and take anger management classes. The new sentence cuts her jail time in half, but doubles her community service hours.

Robert Thompson's daughter was the victim. He says the video of what happened that day in gym class still haunts the family. Their daughter was doing Special Olympics activities at Matoaca Middle School when they say Jan Costley grabbed the girl aggressively and hurt her nose, leaving bruising and scratches.

"The detective said she was surprised her arm wasn't pulled out of the socket," said Thompson. "She had bruising, severe bruising and cuts from fingernails on her arm."

The Thompsons are pleased with Costley's sentence and say they have lingering problems at home because of what happened.  

"We had to work through issues where she jumped or cowered when we moved toward her," said Thompson. "So we had to get through that but she is bouncing back."

The Thompsons say their daughter is back in school and changes have been made to keep her safer.

"I think the school system let my daughter down," said Thompson. "I am more comfortable now with the changes in place. And we do a lot of monitoring, a lot more monitoring of my daughter."

As part of this plea agreement, Costly will also be required to stay away from both the victim and her family.

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