RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Detectives have arrested a Richmond Public Schools substitute teacher and charged him with sexual battery of underage students under the age of 12.
Vance Chisolm has been charged with four counts of sexual battery involving a juvenile. The 44-year-old Henrico County resident tells 8News that he’s innocent and believes his name will eventually be cleared.
“Everybody knows me for empowering young people and building the community and that’s what I do,” he said. “And these accusations are preposterous and I’m definitely going to be fighting them all the way.
“I pray that my youth don’t fall subject to predators, and now all of a sudden they are accusing me of doing it which is completely bogus.”
“These accusations are preposterous and I’m definitely going to be fighting them all the way.” — Vance Chisolm
The RPD arrested Chisolm Wednesday without incident. Police are investigating whether there may be additional victims.
8News has learned Chisolm is the executive director at a Richmond youth ministry program. Chisolm, who calls himself “Minister -V-,” founded Youth Ministry Entertainment and was ordained as a minister in 2007, according to their website.
Chisholm was previously featured among Style Weekly’s Top 40 Under 40 list in 2011 for his work with YME, which seeks to mentor youth while providing them with positive outlets to express themselves and prevent violence.
The group is active in the community, with several events scheduled in the coming weeks, including a planned “All-night jumpathon” that was scheduled to take place Friday night at Jumpology in Henrico.
Neighbors who live near Chisolm in Henrico County were troubled to learn of the allegations.
“This right here is on a whole different level,” resident Ernestine Green said.
“It is disgusting, it is hurtful,” added Secret Terrell, a mother of two, said. “It’s disgusting just to know that I have kids, I wasn’t aware of this situation.”
Those who know Chisolm, however, say he’s not capable of crimes against children.
“I was speechless,” said Kevin Starlings, who volunteered with Chisolm. “It was more of the ‘wow’ factor. it was disheartening to the simple fact that I put a lot of trust in him.”
Chisolm is scheduled for a term hearing on August 7 at 9 a.m.
People who may have information helpful to this investigation can call Youth and Family Crimes Detective Janet Mills at (804) 646-6734 or contact Crime Stoppers at 780-1000 or at www.7801000.com. The Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.