A local artist who teaches at Trinity Episcopal School has been arrested and charged with a felony count of taking indecent liberties with a minor, allegedly during a relationship two years ago.
William Lee Hazelgrove Jr. was indicted by a Richmond grand jury May 6 and arrested by city police May 8. He was arraigned the next day, and the case was continued until May 24.
According to the indictment, Hazelgrove, of the 2300 block of Stratford Court, "did knowingly and intentionally with lascivious intent, sexually abuse" a then 17-year-old from about Jan. 1 to May 11, 2011. The alleged victim turned 18 shortly after the end of that timeframe.
The victim was listed by initials in the indictment and has not been publicly named.
A city police spokeswoman confirmed the arrest of the now 55-year-old Hazelgrove, but said the department could not comment because the investigation is active.
Hazelgrove did not respond to a phone message left at his home Monday, but his lawyer, Todd Stone, called and then emailed a statement.
"Mr. Hazelgrove has been an extremely respected contributor to the Richmond community he has loved for many years," it says in Stone's email. "I expect he will maintain a positive reputation even after the evidence is produced. Consequently, it is vitally important that people keep an open mind and not rush to judge Mr. Hazelgrove because of the nature of this allegation. He is devastated and saddened about the impact of this matter on everyone in the Trinity Episcopal School community."
A spokeswoman for the school did not return calls Monday.
In a May 9 letter to parents of Trinity students, school headmaster Thomas G. Aycock said the school found out about the incident in a phone call from the Richmond Police Department.
"Lee Hazelgrove has been put on administrative leave as a result of his arrest yesterday afternoon and he will not be on campus until further notice," it says in the letter.
The Class 6 felony charge is punishable by up to five years in prison and or a fine up to $2,500.
City police asked that anyone with information about Hazelgrove contact Det. Ben Toderico at (804) 646-3928.
(804) 775-8179 ___
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