This is a developing story, and the RedEye staff has updated this article with new information. RedEye will continue to update the story as we confirm more details.
Update on Sept. 26, 2017:
According to Mr. Mayes, Richmond had no significant duties as the community liason at YPAS.
“[He] was kind of the go-between person and didn’t have much contact with students. He was involved with ticket sales, the Young Actors Institute in the summer, the house manager for events and really just to assist the director,” Mayes said. “The guy was only 25 days into the job so he hadn’t done much.”
YPAS Assistant Principal Bryan Crady also said that Richmond did not work directly with students and mainly interacted with community members.
“He organized the community outreach to get more students involved with the arts through YPAS programs,” Crady said.
Crady added that Richmond’s background as a Manual graduate was part of the reason he was hired.
“He went to school at YPAS in the early 2000s and had a good reputation as a director at Silver Creek. We thought that him being familiar with our school and having a good arts background was good at promoting our summer theatre program,” Crady said.
JCPS hired Richmond after the person who had previously filled the position moved away from Louisville.
Update on Sept. 25, 2017:
Richmond pleaded not guilty to the charge of child seduction.
Indiana police charged YPAS employee Alonzo Richmond, 30, with “having inappropriate contact with a student in another school district in another state where he also works,” according to an email Principal Jerry Mayes sent to all Manual parents on Wednesday, Sept. 20.
Mayes said that the district’s communication office called him about the incident at 3 p.m.
“By about 3:10, I made my decision,” Mayes said. “In fairness, we do not know everything that is going on. It was enough that I had to act pretty quick.”
According to WDRB, a student accused Richmond, an employee of Silver Creek High School, of inappropriately touching him after a theater rehearsal in a park in Sellersburg, Ind. Police arrested Richmond on Wednesday after authorities filed charges in Clark Circuit Court.
Michael Raisor, Chief Operations Officer for JCPS, would not comment on the case because the district has a policy against commenting on pending investigations.
Richmond started working for JCPS as a part-time community liaison for YPAS on August 14.
JCPS defines a community liaison as someone who “works cooperatively with designated staff to establish and maintain a communications network in the designated area, provides leadership for the development and execution of an ongoing recruitment plan for the programs and services at the Center and assesses community needs.”
Silver Creek community in shock
Some students on Silver Creek’s campus Wednesday evening for athletic events reacted to the charges with shock.
Senior Kayla Schepers, who was in Richmond’s theater program for two years, said that the Silver Creek community was surprised.
“Everybody’s talking about it right now,” Schepers said, “and nobody wants to believe that it happened.”
Silver Creek freshman Gabriel Dane Logwood agreed.
“I am shocked and most of my peers are shocked,” Logwood said.
This isn’t the first time that Indiana authorities have arrested JCPS employees. In 2014, RedEye reporters learned that police arrested a Newburg Middle School teacher, Denise Negrus, for public intoxication and resisting arrest.
The state of Indiana dismissed the charges against Negrus in January 2016.