Former Lynchburg high school coach found 'not guilty' of alleged sexual relationship with student

Bryant coached volleyball at Heritage High School for 18 years

By Magdala Louissaint - Lynchburg Bureau Reporter, Jeff Williamson - Digital Content Manager

LYNCHBURG, Va. - UPDATE

A judge found Kelly Bryant not guilty of having a sexual relationship with one of her volleyball players, according to Bryant's attorney, Charles Femlee.

The charges are dismissed, and Bryant is free to resume normal life, according to Femlee.

In his closing arguments, Femlee claimed there was no corroboration. He said the allegations are more than 10 years old, and the volleyball player admitted she didn't tell anyone and the first time she told police was in November 2018.

During the trial, the prosecution had no photos, videos or paper trail to corroborate the inappropriate relationship, according to Femlee.

During her testimony, Bryant denied the allegations, according to Femlee.

The volleyball player testified that a consensual relationship became more physical in April 2009, and that she would go to Bryant's house, where the two would kiss and perform other sexual acts.

Femlee said Bryant’s dad had bypass surgery in April 2009 and was in a hospital for 10 to 11 days. During this time, Femlee said Bryant went to see him after school. He also said Bryant was on spring break and was involved in other activities later in the month.

Bryant admitted she and the volleyball player were close friends, but said it was not a romantic relationship, and she doesn't know why it’s come forward, according to Femlee.

Femlee said the judge had a hard time with the time frame and found reasonable doubt that an inappropriate relationship took place. The judge felt there was insufficient evidence, according to Femlee.

Bryant is currently on administrative leave at Lynchburg City Schools. Femlee said Bryant wants to go back and that it’s been an "awful" 10 months of mental anguish for her.

Femlee described the trial as “sort of a she said, she said” case.


UPDATE

Trial is underway for a former Lynchburg high school volleyball coach accused of having a sexual relationship with one of her players.

The victim, who is now a 25-year-old woman, took the stand and discussed her relationship with Kelly Bryant.

Both the victim and the victim's mother testified that because of the victim's participation in volleyball, Bryant had become a family friend over the years.

The first time the victim and Bryant kissed was inside a Days Inn hotel room in 2009.

Bryant and the victim, as well as the victim's mother and grandmother, all shared the same hotel room.

The victim testified that she and Bryant slept in the same bed during that trip.

The victim testified that the consensual relationship became more physical beginning in April 2009.

The victim also testified that she would go to Bryant's house, where the two would kiss and perform other sexual acts.

While this relationship lasted throughout the victim's high school years, she testified that she told no one what was happening.

It wasn't until November 2018 when the victim first told anyone about the alleged relationship.

Working as a teacher in Virginia, she realized what role teachers play in student's lives.

The victim felt that it was her duty to society to report Bryant, knowing that she was still working in the school system.

Bryant also testified, and according to the defense, she denied having a sexual relationship with the victim.

A detective, the athletic director and a friend of the victim also took the stand.

Closing arguments are scheduled to begin shortly.

There is no jury for this trial.


ORIGINAL STORY

Monday marks the beginning of the trial for a high school teacher charged with a child sex crime.

Lynchburg police say Kelly Bryant was arrested in February for taking indecent liberties with a former student at Heritage High School in April 2009.

Bryant coached volleyball for 18 years at the high school before retiring from that role in 2017, according to her Facebook page.

School leaders said they were not aware of the incident.  

Bryant has since been placed on administrative leave.

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