Ex-Southgate staffer faces more molestation charges

Published 10:44 am Thursday, April 14, 2011

A former Southgate teacher’s aide faces additional criminal charges after a second student has accused him of inappropriate sexual touching.

Richard Dale Burch, 54, was charged with four felonies ranging from fourth-degree to first-degree criminal sexual conduct on Friday in Mower County Court. He has already been charged with criminal sexual conduct for allegedly molesting an 8-year-old girl.

According to court documents, the complaint came when a 16-year-old girl told a friend that Burch had touched her genitals on numerous occasions over the last few years.

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The girl, who is mentally and physically disabled, told police Burch had rubbed her leg several times on the bus. Burch apparently takes the girl and her friends swimming in the summer, and he has allegedly put his hand inside her swimsuit bottoms when he picks her up and throws her in the pool, according to a court complaint.

The girl’s grandmother told police Burch took her under his wing when she was younger, so she goes swimming and to the races with him. She even stayed overnight at his house on one occasion, the grandmother told officers.

When police spoke with Burch, he said he has known the girl for years but did not remember if she was a student at Southgate Elementary while he was working there. The court complaint stated nothing further from Burch.

Burch has yet to be scheduled to enter his plea in this case. A warrant was issued for his arrest on April 8.