HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – A Mills Godwin High School teacher arrested after school Tuesday appeared in Henrico County Court Wednesday morning. Anthony Crowder, 40, was arraigned after being charged with two counts of sexual battery, according to Henrico Police Lt. Linda Toney.
In court Wednesday, Crowder told the judge he would hire his own attorney. Family members who attended Wednesday’s hearing said they had no comment about the arrest.
The crimes Crowder is accused of committing took place between 1987 and 1989, according to Lt. Toney. Crowder would have been between 14 and 16 years old at the time. The charges indicate his accusers were under the age of 13 when the alleged crimes took place.
Crowder’s alleged victims were other boys in his family, according to police.
“No other details will be released at this time,” Lt. Toney wrote in an email.
The legal threshold a grand jury must meet to indite someone is much less than the threshold a jury must meet to convict someone.
“The grand jury only has to find probable cause, so it’s a very low level,” CBS 6 legal analyst Todd Stone said. “To prove someone guilty you have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. So, right now, he’s just accused of these offenses and he’s still presumed innocent.”
Crowder, an earth science teacher, was arrested when he left Godwin High School Tuesday afternoon.
“Our understanding is that the matter involves neither school property nor our students. Until such time that more facts are known , we think it’s best to decline further comment and let the legal process run its course,” a Henrico Schools spokesman said in a statement.
Following the arrest, people reacted with messages of support for the teacher.
“I had Mr. Crowder as a teacher in middle school at John Rolfe. He never portrayed any actions of a sexual activity towards younger people. He was nothing but awesome to his children at school,” Nakia Williams posted on WTVR.com.
“I’ve known Mr. Crowder for several years and this is totally ridiculous. It would be difficult for anyone to find a more upstanding, respectable individual,” Chris S. posted.
Crowder is due back in court on Friday.