Richard L. “Dickie” Howell II, an accomplished Delaware wrestler who went on to become one of the state’s best high school wrestling coaches, was charged Wednesday with child sex abuse and rape in what state police say was a 10-month sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student.
Howell, 50, of Wyoming – a longtime physical education/health teacher and coach at Caesar Rodney High School in Camden – surrendered to police Wednesday afternoon, Master Cpl. Gary E. Fournier said.
He repeatedly had intercourse with the girl at the high school and his home, repeatedly had her perform oral sex on him and sent nude photos of himself to her by phone, along with a video of himself masturbating, according to court documents.
Howell was charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child, 15 counts of first-degree sexual abuse of a child by a person of trust and two counts of fourth-degree rape, Fournier said.
He was committed to Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna after failing to post $550,000 secured bail.
Howell also was ordered to have no contact with the victim or anyone under age 18, Fournier said.
Caesar Rodney School District Superintendent Kevin Fitzgerald issued a statement about a half hour after Howell’s arrest was announced, saying Howell has been suspended with pay, in accordance with teachers’ negotiated agreement.
The district was informed of Howell’s conduct Monday morning, he said. Police were contacted immediately, Fitzgerald said, and Howell was suspended.
“The District is fully cooperating with the investigation being conducted by the Delaware State Police,” his statement said. “Delaware State laws protecting the privacy rights of public employees preclude the District from providing any additional information.”
Fitzgerald’s statement also was posted Wednesday evening at the top of the district’s home page.
Caesar Rodney was scheduled to wrestle against St. Mark’s in a home match on Wednesday night, but the event was postponed and no makeup date was announced. The Riders’ next match is scheduled to be at home Jan. 21 against Sussex Tech.
Read the full story at delawareonline.com