Ex-Chesterfield teacher had sex with student he home tutored

Posted at 2:57 PM, Dec 20, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-21 00:22:54-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - A former Chesterfield teacher has pleaded guilty to having an inappropriate relationship with a teenage Matoaca High School student.

Nicholas M. Ells pleaded guilty to three counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor while in a custodial role and four counts of carnal knowledge of a child between 13 and 15 years of age.

Ells was sentenced to seven years in jail, with three years suspended. Ells' attorney said his client would likely only spend two years behind bars because the crimes were misdemeanors.

After his arrest, police said Ells and the teenage girl were involved in a relationship that spanned about four months - between April and August 2013.

The prosecutor said Ells was the victim's "Success" teacher, which helps at-risk students. He said Ells tutored the 14-year-old victim at her home at times.

CBS 6 wanted to know what policies are in place when it comes to teachers going to the students home for tutoring.

Donald Wilms, President of the Chesterfield Education Association said it's unusual, but he believes there is nothing ethically wrong with it as long as arrangements have been made.

"The parent must be involved in this and the parent must be around. The teacher should not be alone with a student," said Wilms.

Wilms said a teacher being alone with a student at home could be setting up the potential for trouble.

Chesterfield County parent, Amy Harbert said her children have needed extra help when it comes to their schoolwork. But, she said her kids received help by their teachers at school.

"School should be in school. That's why we have our school buildings, that's why we're here during the day," said Harbert.