12-year-old takes stand against Richmond teacher's assistant - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

12-year-old takes stand against Richmond teacher's assistant

Alex Erby Alex Erby

A young girl took the stand against the Richmond teaching assistant she says touched her inappropriately. It was a tense day inside a Richmond courtroom as Alex Erby faces four felonies including aggravated sexual battery and taking indecent liberties with two separate children.

The two indecent liberty counts are for children in Alex Erby's care in a supervisory role. Prosecutors say the incidents happened on school grounds, during school hours and while Erby was in his role as a teaching assistant at G.H. Reid Elementary in Richmond. Before Wednesday, many of the details behind the four felony charges were not part of the public record.

"It's been hard for me to go through this," one girl told jurors Wednesday. She says back on March 8 of last year, Alex Erby grabbed her bottom and made an inappropriate comment as she was walking in the hallway alone with him. In a quiet voice, she put her version of the events simply and said, "Mr. Erby touched my butt and gave me a hug..."

Erby's lawyer, however, disputed her testimony. He explained what she said on the stand and what she told teachers happened right afterward differs. There were some tense exchanges between the now 12-year-old and the attorney.

The prosecutor showed jurors pictures he says are worth a thousand words. G.H. Reid has some of the district's newest surveillance equipment and an alleged inappropriate contact was caught on camera from a distance.

The defense team says the issues are going to be whether or not there was physical contact between Erby and the minors and where that contact was.

The second girl in the case was ten at the time of the incident in February of last year. She alleges Erby grabbed her breast. Prosecutors maintain that inappropriate contact happened when the teacher's assistant was confiscating the girl's cell phone. She has not taken the stand yet.

We don't yet know whether Alex Erby will take the stand in his own defense.

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