Day 2 of retrial concludes for Henrico teacher accused of sexually abusing student

Closing argument to be presented at Henrico Circuit Court Thursday at 9:30 a.m.
Published: Oct. 12, 2022 at 7:27 PM EDT
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HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - Late Wednesday afternoon, the prosecution and the defense presented the last of their evidence to the 13-person jury in the retrial for Henrico Teacher Dean Lakey, who is accused of sexually abusing a student at a Henrico middle school in 2017.

The Commonwealth presented their final witnesses, including an expert interviewer from Richmond Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN). They explained why a victim might delay reporting abuse and how the trauma they experienced could affect how well they remember the abuse. But it was the timing of the alleged victim’s events that the defense worked to dismantle during Wednesday’s court hearing.

Based on the alleged victim’s accusations, the defense narrowed down that the first instances of the alleged abuse could only have happened after school on March 1, 2, and 3 in 2017, when the then 12-year-old was leaving a Technology Student Association meeting.

The defense showed evidence that on March 1, all after-school activities were canceled due to inclement weather, meaning TSA didn’t meet. The defense argued that testimony from current and former teachers and calendar evidence also showed that sporting activities were canceled due to the weather, meaning that Lakey would not have been present to coach soccer that evening.

The defense also showed gas station and grocery store receipts, in addition to text messages between Lakey and his wife gave a timeline of when and where Lakey was on March 1.

Former coaches and colleagues also testified that they saw Lakey at a soccer-related meeting on March 2 when the abuse allegedly occurred. The defense also showed text messages from the alleged victim detailing when she was being let out of her TSA meeting.

Lakey’s daughter also testified that Lakey drove the bus for the varsity women’s soccer team to Charlottesville for an away game on March 3 around 3:30 p.m. and that they didn’t get back until later that evening at 10 p.m. showing additional text messages shared between Lakey and his wife in addition to text messages from the alleged victim’s about when she was leaving TSA.

The defense introduced a motion to strike down all five charges the 61-year-old Henrico teacher faced, arguing that the Commonwealth could not prove, based on the evidence presented, that Lakey sexually abused the alleged victim, but that motion was dismissed.

Based on the evidence, however, the judge suggested that the alleged abuse could not have happened on March 1 or 3, adding that the prosecution and defense must prove to a jury that March 2 is the only reasonable time the acts of abuse could have occurred.

Lakey, currently on unpaid leave from Henrico County Schools, also testified again, denying any accusations of abuse or sexual contact with the alleged victim.

Lake is currently facing two counts of indecent liberties with a minor, two sodomy charges and one charge of object sexual battery. Closing arguments will begin Thursday at 9:30 p.m.