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Teacher ‘shocked and angry’ after student sex crime arrest

Posted at 10:42 AM, Jun 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-15 17:53:37-04

Vance Chisolm (PHOTO: Richmond Police)

RICHMOND, Va. -- Vance Chisolm, 44, of Henrico, was arrested and charged with sexual battery of underage students under the age of 12, according to Richmond Police. Police identified Chisolm as a substitute Richmond Public Schools teacher, but did not indicate at which schools he taught.

"Detectives are investigating whether there may be additional victims," a Richmond Police spokesperson said.

Chisolm said he was shocked and angry over the charges.

“People know my heart. My heart beat is for the young people. Everything I do is for the young people," Chisholm said. "I feel like there’s a hole in my heart because it’s so far from the truth."

Chisholm said he was substitute teaching physical education in the gym at Linwood Holton Elementary School on Friday, May 26. He said he received a call from the school system's human resources department the following week saying they wanted to discuss an alleged incident at the school.

“When they brought me in, they said that I was accused of... inappropriately touching some students," Chisholm said. "And I’m like, 'That’s preposterous. You got the wrong person.'"

The 44-year-old said they told him an investigation is underway and that he did not hear anything else about it.

“I really believed after the investigation they would’ve dropped... because I know I’m innocent," Chisholm said.

He said he had a long career working with children and denied any wrongdoing.

Chisolm has appeared on WTVR CBS 6 News several times over the years promoting various community events and fundraisers.

Vance Chisolm

But then the father of four was arrested this week and charged with four counts of sexual battery.

“It’s just hurting to me that I’m accused of something I pray against for the kids that I work with," d Chisholm,

When WVR CBS 6 reporter Sandra Jones asked Chisolm if he touched any students, he said that he did.

“Yes, during P.E.," he said. "I touched them on their shoulder and directed them where to go in different groups because we have five different stations.”

Chisholm said he feels he is being targeted, but believes he'll get through this.

“I just believe that all of this is happening for a reason," he said. "It’s a test and as long as I relish in the truth and stand on God’s word that he’s going to fight my battles and my name will be cleared up."

He also said he has overwhelming support from his family and friends.

“I’m getting all types of phone calls and text messages... about it not being true," he said. "They know me and just told me to give it to God and let it ride its course and I’m going to be fine.”​

Chisolm, who held youth minister and church roles around Richmond, was featured as one of Style Weekly's Top 40 Under 40 in 2011.

Chisolm runs Youth Ministry Entertainment, a local mentoring organization that teaches life skills to youth, counsels them on peer pressure and provides tutoring. “A lot of these kids, they don’t have positive male figures,” he says. “We’re hoping to fill that void.” With little funding, since its founding in 2009 the group has helped an estimated 75 young people with things as varied as fitness and Bible study.

But the remedy isn’t just providing role models, Chisolm says. The group’s summer program is built around volunteering. Participating students pick up litter, visit elder homes and distribute food at community kitchens, in turn giving back. The program is connected to Bible study classes that Chisolm helps lead — in addition to the occasional hip-hop-themed mixer.

Anyone with information about this investigation was asked to call Youth and Family Crimes Detective Janet Mills at 804-646-6734 or Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.

This is a developing story. Witnesses can send news tips and photos here.

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