Former Caesar Rodney coach pleads not guilty to 50 sex counts

DOVER — A former Caesar Rodney High teacher and coach pleaded not guilty Thursday morning to 50 felony counts in an indictment alleging a sexual relationship with a female student in 2014.

After attorneys had a brief sidebar with Judge Jeffrey Clark, Richard L. “Dickie” Howell II, 51, entered the plea in Kent County Superior Court during an appearance lasting approximately five minutes or less; an initial case review was scheduled for June 9.

Richard L. “Dickie” Howell II exits the Kent Courthouse on Thursday morning. (Delaware State/Craig Anderson)

Richard L. “Dickie” Howell II exits the Kent Courthouse on Thursday morning. (Delaware State/Craig Anderson)

Exiting the Kent County Courthouse with another man and heading toward a vehicle afterward, Mr. Howell responded with a polite “No thanks” when asked for comment from newspaper and television media. His attorney Alex Funk also declined comment earlier.

Deputy Attorney General Kathleen Dickerson said in court that the state would not prosecute two unindicted fourth-degree rape charges initially brought by the Delaware State Police upon Mr. Howell’s arrest in mid-January.

Mr. Howell, of Wyoming, submitted a letter of resignation to the Caesar Rodney School District on April 9, according to a spokesman earlier. His resignation was approved by board members on April 21 at the district’s monthly meeting, officials said.

On April 6, Mr. Howell was indicted by a Kent County grand jury on 43 counts of first-degree sexual abuse of a child by a person in a position of trust, authority or supervision, and seven counts of sexual solicitation of a child.

Mr. Howell taught physical education and health at CR, and also served as wrestling coach. He was suspended without pay on Jan. 15, a day after police announced the arrest and initial charges against him.

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