CLARK COUNTY, Ind. (WHAS11) -- A Southern Indiana high school theater sponsor was arrested Wednesday and charged with child seduction. Alonzo Richmond directs theater at Silver Creek High School in Sellersburg.
Days away from their show's debut, a Southern Indiana community theater is shaken over disturbing details of their instructor's encounter with one of his students.
"I was pretty well devastated and in shock and unbelief and all of those things you would think of," Tim Lorentzen, a community theater participant, said.
It happened Saturday night, at a Park in Sellersburg, where Alonzo Richmond had been directing practice. The event was not sponsored by the high school, but there were high school students there.
Police said Richmond walked one of his students to his car in a nearby parking lot after practice.
"The teacher and the male student did kiss for a period of time and Mister Richmond did place his hand on the buttock of the student. This constitutes the crime of child seduction," Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said.
The student was one of Richmond's theater students from Silver Creek High School where he is the theater director.
The 17-year-old’s parent reported the incident to state police on Saturday. Richmond and the victim were interviewed soon after. A second student also came forward, claiming he witnessed the incident.
The prosecutor said he had to move quickly in this case, ahead of this weekend's performance.
Mull said, "Knowing that he's involved with children over the weekend in a production, it’s something that once it revealed strong evidence occurred, I felt it was imperative and it was my duty to move on that immediately and file that charge and have something done about it."
Those who are taking part in the performance are still setting up for the Friday night premiere, but authorities said they are unsure what will happen with the show.
“The bottom line is it’s a devastating thing and it’s just a tragic thing that happened," Lorentzen said.
Richmond is now charged with a level six felony which, if convicted, could mean up to two years in prison. He is being held in the Clark County Jail.