Godwin teacher suspended without pay for alleged sex crimes - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Godwin teacher suspended without pay for alleged sex crimes

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) -

It's a crime that allegedly happened 27 years ago, but a Henrico teacher has just now been arrested for it. 40-year-old Anthony Crowder was suspended without pay from Godwin High School. He remains in jail with two counts of aggravated sexual battery involving a child under 13 years old.

He's worked at HCPS since 2004. He taught science at Godwin. Before that, he taught at Rolfe Middle School.

According to court documents, it was a direct indictment by a grand jury - but take a look at the date of the alleged incident: June 1, 1986 through July 13, 1988. That means Crowder, who is 40 years old right now, was 12 or 13 years old at the time.

The case is 27 years old, and because Virginia does not have statute of limitations for felonies, Crowder can be prosecuted.

"Virginia is unusual," says NBC12 legal analyst Steve Benjamin, "This means somebody could be charged 30 years, 50 years for a crime they may not have even committed."

Police say the case involves boys in Crowder's family and it happened in Henrico but will not give any other details - including the alleged victims' ages. The reason as to why this case is just now coming to light has not been released.

"Typically, these old cases arise when an accuser decides, for whatever reason, that it's important to publicize whatever happened to them long ago," says Benjamin.

People in support of Crowder took to Twitter when the case was made public. The hashtag #FreeCrowder quickly became popular. One person wrote, "I already don't like school.  Now that my favorite teacher is gone, I don't even want to step foot into Godwin."

Legal analysts believe we may not know why it took decades for this case to come forward until the trial. Crowder is from Essex.

Crowder's next court date is Friday, so a judge can confirm whether the teacher has an attorney.

Copyright 2013 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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