SHORT PUMP, Va. — Henrico County Police Chief Eric English and Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor have asked for people with information to step forward following the arrest of a longtime Short Pump Middle School teacher.
Dean Lakey, 60, was taken into custody in September 2021 and charged with the 2017 rape of a middle-school-aged child. Lakey, who had been a teacher and coach for nearly 40 years, was also charged with forcible sodomy and indecent liberties with a minor as a custodian.
It was not made clear during Lakey's recent bond hearing whether the teacher and coach met his alleged victim at school or in the community.
"When a tragedy like this occurs, it is imperative that we make sure we have the necessary information to make sure our children are safe. Unfortunately, our experience and professional research have shown in these situations there are more than one victim," English and Taylor said a statement. "We understand how difficult it is for victims to come forward. But we encourage them to reach out and be heard. Standing together makes all of us stronger and safer. We know that victims worry about whether they will be believed, who to trust, and will the abuse stop. We understand and appreciate how difficult this can be, but we ask you to come forward."
Lakey was granted bond last month. As part of his bond, Lakey agreed to submit to GPS monitoring, have no contact with his alleged victim, her family, or anyone under 18 years old.
The allegation came to light earlier this year when the alleged victim said something aloud while having a nightmare, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Kelly Cotting said in court during Lakey's bond hearing. Someone heard what was said and asked her about it.
Cotting argued Lakey was a threat to the public and called the situation a "textbook grooming case."
During the same bond hearing, Lakey's attorney successfully argued Lakey was not a flight risk and said Lakey had not reached out to the teenager upon learning of the accusations earlier in this year. He added they "aggressively dispute" the allegations.
The police chief and commonwealth’s attorney concluded their joint statement by saying they did not want this to happen to another Henrico child.
"We have counselors and psychologists available to help victims, to help them heal, and to protect them," the statement continued. "Please, for the sake of all our children, we ask that any victims please come forward in this matter or any other matter involving similar behavior."
Anyone with additional information was asked to call Detective Thomas Alphin at 804-501-4143 or Sergeant Jennifer Clark at 804-501- 7326
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