A teacher and former Heritage High School coach in Lynchburg has been arrested and charged with child sex abuse.
Kelly Bryant was arrested on Sunday, February 10 and charged with indecent liberties with a child – custodian. According to jail records, the offense allegedly happened in April of 2009. Bryant is accused of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a then student of the school.
The charge includes anybody 18 years or older who has a supervisory relationship over someone under 18 and knowingly and intentionally does either of the following: proposes that a child fondle the adult, or the adult fondle the child, or asks the child to perform a sexual act, or exposes private parts to the child, or asks the child to expose his or her privates to the child, or sexually abuses the child, etc.
The school district released the following statement they shared with parents/guardians:
Dear parents and guardians of Lynchburg City Schools’ Heritage High School students,
Lynchburg City Schools became aware that a Heritage High School faculty member and former coach has been arrested for taking indecent liberties with a child.
Ms. Kelly Bryant, a Remediation lab teacher and former head volleyball coach at Heritage High School, has been charged in Lynchburg with taking indecent liberties with a child. Ms. Bryant has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation by the Lynchburg Police Department.
While we have no knowledge of any inappropriate contact that Ms. Bryant had with any current LCS student, we are notifying our parents and guardians as an added measure to keep our children safe. We continue to encourage parents to talk to your children about safe interactions with adults.
If you have additional questions or concerns, contact the superintendent’s office at (434) 515-5070.
A school spokesperson declined a request for an interiew, saying no further comment would be made apart from the letter to parents.
According to Bryant’s public Facebook page, she retired from coaching in November of 2017 after 32 years of coaching volleyball and 18 years of coaching at Heritage High School.
Bryant is currently listed as an employee at Heritage High in the Lynchburg City School District email directory.
Lynchburg Police released the following statement regarding the alleged crime:
“On February 10, 2019, as a result of the Lynchburg Police Department CID investigation into the incident, 52-year-old Lynchburg resident Kelly Marylyn Bryant was arrested on one count of Indecent Liberties With a Child By a Custodian (§ 18.2-370.1). This charge was the result of an alleged 2009 incident involving unlawful sexual interaction with a juvenile student who attended Heritage High School at the time. No further information will be released by the LPD.”
WFXR News spoke with a volleyball player who graduated from Heritage High School in 2009. She was also coached by Bryant. The student, Emily Scott, provided a statement:
“Kelly was a very positive and influential coach, dedicated to helping her players grow on and off the court. Anyone who played volleyball knew Kelly, regardless of what school they attended. Her laugh is contagious, she has a caring heart, and she’s a great person to be around. The most recent news is very sad and unfortunate for all who are involved,” Scott said.
Another volleyball player, Saudia Shelton Wade, who attended Heritage High School around the same time frame, also had positive things to say about her former coach. “Coach Bryant was a great coach and mentor to all of her girls. She never pushed us to be anything else besides great volleyball players,” said Wade. “And never got personal with anyone that I knew of, and I’ve never heard anything to uphold these allegations. Also I’ve never felt uncomfortable around her and my sister who is 7 years my senior says the same thing,” she added. Wade says her sister was also coached by Bryant.
Jail officials have confirmed that Bryant has been released from custody. No word yet on when she is scheduled to appear in court.