by Ivan Foley
Five years after the alleged event, a now-former Park Hill South High School teacher and coach is charged with meeting a female student in the school parking lot with the intention of engaging in sexual contact.
Anthony T. Perry, 35, was charged last week with attempted sexual contact with a student on public school property. The charge is a misdemeanor.
Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd said charges were filed following an investigation by the Riverside Department of Public Safety and with the cooperation of the Park Hill School District.
The normal statute of limitations on a misdemeanor crime is one year. But in a telephone interview, Zahnd told The Landmark that statute of limitations does not apply to a sex crime against someone under the age of 18.
“Because this case involves a sex crime on someone under 18, we have until 20 years after the victim turns age 18 to file charges,” Zahnd said.
If Perry is convicted of the class A misdemeanor of attempted sexual contact with a student on public school property, he faces up to one year in jail, Zahnd added.
An arrest warrant for Perry was issued last week and he was booked on the charge Friday. His bond was originally set at $2,500 cash only but upon request for a bond reduction he was allowed to bond out for 10% of that amount. Prosecutors did not object to his request for a bond reduction.
Perry is not to have contact with the alleged victim or her family, or with any person under the age of 18.
Zahnd said, “Administrators at the Park Hill School District immediately did the right thing when they learned about this situation. They took the victim’s allegations very seriously, contacted law enforcement officials, and suspended the employee who was involved while the investigation went forward.”
According to court documents, on July 13, a former Park Hill South High School student reported to the school administration that Perry had an inappropriate relationship with her while she was a student and he was a teacher at the high school. The victim said she and Perry had become close during her first two years of high school. During her junior year, the victim stated Perry began discussing the two of them having sex.
In June 2006, the summer following her junior year, the victim contacted Perry. Perry allegedly told her to meet him at the Park Hill South High School parking lot. The victim reported sitting in Perry’s vehicle and engaging in sexual contact with Perry. The victim was 17 years old at the time.
The victim reported the incident to school district officials on July 13, 2011. After confirming initial information, but within 24 hours of the initial report, district officials say they notified Perry of the allegations and suspended him pending the outcome of the district's investigation. Perry met with officials with the School District on July 19 to discuss the incident.
According to court documents, during this meeting, Perry initially denied knowing the victim well. Eventually, he admitted that he had a picture of the victim on his desk, that she had been seen in his office and that he had visited her at college after she graduated high school. Perry denied any wrongdoing, but district officials have confirmed that he resigned his teaching position on July 26.