Ex-teacher’s aide accused of inappropriately touching students won’t serve jail time

Posted at 7:51 AM, Oct 30, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-30 14:52:25-04

RICHMOND, Va (WTVR) -- A Richmond teacher's aide accused of inappropriately touching two elementary school students last year will not serve any time behind bars.

Alex Erby was supposed to go on trial Wednesday morning, but instead entered an Alford plea to two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

That means he admitted there is enough evidence to support a conviction, but did not directly admit that he was guilty.

After his plea, the judge sentenced Erby to three years behind bars, but suspended the entire sentence. Two other charges were withdrawn by prosecutors.

As part of his sentence, he can no longer teach in a private or public school setting for three years around anyone under the age of 18

It May of 2012, Erby was arrested and charged with several child sex crimes, following several allegations.  The first child said Erby committed the crime on or around February 13, 2012, and it continued for four days.  The second child said the indecent liberties happened on or around March 8, 2012.

One victim said she was touched on her buttocks and one said on her breasts.  Erby's lawyers said any perceived inappropriate touching was unintentional.  At the time the allegations were made, Erby worked as an instructional assistant at G.H. Reid Elementary School in South Richmond.

Following a two day trial in June 2013, the judge declared the mistrial citing a violation of impermissible contact between someone involved in the case and jurors.  CBS 6 legal analyst Todd Stone said Erby may enter a plea this time around, and if he does it could benefit both the defense and prosecution.

"What the prosecutor gets is they don't have to put on their young witnesses to testify," Stone said.  "And what the defense may get is they get a sentence where they know the end result, and it's something less than what they may get with the jury."

Erby's first trial ended in a mistrial.