Day 2 of trial for Henrico teacher accused of sexual assault wraps up
Closing arguments expected to resume Thursday
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 forcible sodomy, but those charges have since been amended to object sexual battery and taking indecent liberties with a minor following the victim’s testimony Tuesday.
The former Short Pump Middle School was 14 years old at the time of the alleged incident but is now an adult. While the victim testified that there were multiple encounters with Lakey, the commonwealth is only prosecuting a specific incident in March 2017.
Lakey has pleaded not guilty.
Lakey is a health and physical education teacher at the school. Court documents also show he coached soccer and basketball teams. At last check, the district said Lakey was on unpaid administrative leave.
Wednesday, a 13-person jury listened to the second day of arguments from the prosecution and defense.
The prosecution brought up a former Short Pump Middle School nurse and an expert witness from “Stop Child Abuse Now” (SCAN), who argued that it’s not unusual for abuse victims to wait years to come forward.
In response, the defense brought Lakey’s daughter and several former co-workers to the stand, who testified in defense of Lakey’s integrity.
When questioned if Lakey’s reputation as a teacher and a coach was positive or negative, many of his co-workers testified that he had an excellent character or couldn’t recall an instance when Lakey’s character or truthfulness was questioned.
They also testified that according to the policies at the middle school, if a P.E. teacher had to go to the bathroom, they could not leave their class unattended and were required to have substitute coverage for their class while they were gone. Many testified that they could not recall a time when the former teacher left his students alone to go to the bathroom.
Other co-workers described Lakey’s time working for the Richmond Strikers Soccer Club in addition to coaching multiple sports during the time when the alleged incident was said to have occurred.
The defense also presented the victim’s grades for the 2016-2017 school year following the time of the alleged incident, which was A’s - an important fact because the victim testified her grade slipped following the alleged abuse.
Calendars showcasing Lakey’s coaching commitments, in addition to calendars marking the day when the Technology Student Association would meet, which the victim was said to be a part of, were also shown by the defense to emphasize further how Lakey would have few opportunities to ever follow the victim to the bathroom alone for the alleged abuse to take place.
Lakey also provided receipts and images of phone records and texts, which he argues proves he was never alone with the victim because he was too busy coaching or working other jobs.
Lakey was questioned by the prosecution on why the receipts were only now presented and not earlier in the case when he was first contacted by child protective services when he was living in North Carolina in 2021. Lakey says he was never asked to provide them to child protective services or detectives. He said he could provide his cell phone in court to confirm that his records were not doctored.
Lakey maintained his innocence when directly questioned if he had ever left class early to follow the victim into the bathroom or if he had ever sexually assaulted the victim in any way.
Closing arguments are expected to resume for the third and final day of the trial Thursday at 9:30 a.m.
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