Ex-Southgate employee charged with molesting 8-year-old

Published 8:22 am Friday, April 8, 2011

A former Southgate Elementary School teacher’s aid has been charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct for allegedly molesting an 8-year-old girl.

Richard Dale Burch, 54, was charged Monday in Mower County Court.

According to a court complaint, Burch allegedly touched the girl’s genital area while he was supervising a bus trip to the roller rink in Brownsdale on Dec. 17.

Email newsletter signup

Police were alerted of Burch’s alleged behavior after the 8-year-old girl told her mother Burch had touched her inappropriately.

When officers questioned him, Burch said he would hug the students if they initiate the contact, and he buys them candy and allows them to sit on his knee. According to the court complaint, he told police the girl’s mother told him the girl lies frequently and had pornography on her cell phone.

The mother told police the girl doesn’t even have a cell phone, and the girl told her parents Burch had pornography on his cell phone. The mother also told officers the girl does not have excessive lying problems.

Burch apparently called the girl’s parents around five times asking if the girl could come on the bus trip. He also gave the girl, her sister and their parents gift cards for Christmas.

According to court documents, Burch had also asked the girl to sit in his deer stand with him last fall. Her parents did not permit her to do so.

Burch is scheduled to enter his plea in Mower County Court on April 28.