The trial for a former Seymour Elementary school teacher, accused of sexually assaulting four former students, began at the Douglas County Courthouse Tuesday. 59-year-old Nicholas Richter is facing four counts of third-degree sexual assault of a child.
Two victims, the teacher aide who reported the incident, and the school principal took to the stand to testify Tuesday.
The prosecution said the case is one of "opportunity, vulnerability, and secrets." The state prosecution team said their evidence this week will show Nicholas Richter touched four boys over their clothing. The students were all in his advanced math and reading classes in 2009-2012. The touching allegedly began sometime in second or third grade, and continued through fourth grade.
The two victims who took to the stand shared similar testimony and accused Richter of "grabbing, grasping, and swiping them" in areas they say "they know should not be touched.
The students explained after getting a math problem correct, they would walk their paper to Richter, who was sitting on top of his desk, and would then be offered candy. The boys said it was then that he would touch their front private areas. The boys explained He would touch them for anywhere between 2 seconds to 12 seconds.
The boys also talked about how Richter would occasionally touch them on their shoulders and backs. They each said it didn't happen often, but at times they did not like it.
The defense team's opening statement said the case is full of inconsistencies among victims. Richter's attorney said those differences will prove Richter did not commit a criminal offense. The team called it a case gone out of control. They said it will only show how children perceive events, how our minds work, and who how innocent happenings can be seen as ugly.
Some of those inconsistencies include the students having problems remembering whether or not they ever sat on Richter's lap. One student said he saw the other one sit on his lap, but the other student says that he doesn't think that happened. Tuesday, the student who originally reported that said he may not have been correct.
Another inconsistency is that at first, in deposition, the student reported the touching could have been an accident. On Tuesday, at the stand, that student said he now knows it was not an accident. Bot said Richter touched them more than ten times, but do not know an exact number because it was too many to know.
The para-professional substitute at Seymour Elementary also took the stand. She told jurors first heard about the alleged sexual assault from a victim playing outside. She said she heard one boy say to another -- "you're always saying he's touching you."
It was then that substitute said she questioned the victim -- and relayed the problem to the school principal and therapist -- who eventually got in contact with child protective services.
On Wednesday two more victims, law enforcement, and the Ralston superintendent will take to the stand. Additionally, in the prosecutions opening statements, they said they will bring in a man, now married with kids, who allegedly claims Richter assaulted him 30 or so years ago.