One of Delaware’s most iconic high school wrestling coaches, Richard “Dickie” Howell II, was arrested on Wednesday on charges that he allegedly sexually abused and raped a teenage student for nearly a year.
According to a News Journal article by reporter Robin Brown, the 5o year-old Wyoming, DE resident Howell has been a gym / health teacher and the Riders’ head wrestling coach at Caesar Rodney High School in Camden, Delaware for over two decades.
Brown reports that Howell was sent to James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, DE on charges of “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.” The sexual abuse allegedly took place on school grounds and at Howell”s residence. Apparently, Howell is married with children.
Scott Goss of the Dover Post stated in his story that “[the student] told police the two communicated regularly by telephone, text and voice messages. A forensic examination of the victim’s cell phone uncovered text messages in which the two planned to meet for sex, several nude photos and a lewd video Howell sent to the girl, police said.”
Although these kinds of news stories are becoming more prevalent, it is possible that it is not because of an increase in sexual abuse, but that our society has become a bit more welcoming for survivors of abuse to speak out about their abuse and be heard and believed.
We applaud this girl for her courage in speaking out about her abuser, and to law enforcement officials for believing her story and removing this potentially dangerous sexual predator from working with children.
If you have information about a teacher or coach who may have sexually abused you or someone you know, please call us toll-free at 1-888-407-0224 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.