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Minnesota high school guidance counselor allegedly sexually assaults student after inviting her to his home

Source: Unsplash; Freeborn County Jail

Jan. 22 2022, Published 1:06 p.m. ET

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A high school guidance counselor and head varsity women’s basketball coach in Minnesota is accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old female student at his home, authorities said.

Recently, Richard J. Polley, 32, was booked into the Freeport County jail on a third-degree criminal sexual conduct charge in connection to the alleged incident five days earlier and released after he posted bail, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

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According to a criminal complaint obtained by Bring Me the News, Polley was the student’s counselor at Albert Lea High School.

The alleged victim told investigators she “frequently” visited Polley in his office, and he “helped with things like switching classes” or “they would talk about random things like how her day was going,” the complaint reads.

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In December, the criminal complaint continues, the two connected on Snapchat but Polley allegedly grew concerned about anyone finding out and “more than once” suggested “it was inappropriate and not a good idea for them to be friends on the platform, yet never removing her from his account.”

According to the complaint, on Jan. 8, Polley was at Bleachers, an area sports bar, and spoke with the student while she was at her friend’s house.

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Polley allegedly “mentioned over the phone he might need a ride home,” but when the student “offered to pick him up… he said it wasn't a good idea and instead drove himself home. He then suggested she come over to say hello and provided his address.”

“The victim went to his house twice that night,” the complaint claims. “When leaving the first time, Polley told her his door would be unlocked if she wanted to stop by again, and that she could wake him up. During her second visit, Polley sexually assaulted her, and more than once asked if she was ‘OK with it.’”

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Over the following school week, the student said she saw Polley every day but they never spoke about the alleged incident. According to the complaint, he asked how her weekend was and if she was okay.

School officials said Polley has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the police investigation.

His next court hearing is scheduled for Jan. 27.


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