Former ALHS counselor, coach’s trial rescheduled after motion to introduce new evidence

(ABC 6 News) – The trial for a former counselor and coach at Albert Lea Highschool was rescheduled Friday after a motion to introduce new evidence to the proceedings.
Richard John Polley, 33, was arrested and charged with 3rd-degree criminal sexual conduct after allegedly having sex with a student under age 18 in January.

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Polley pleaded not guilty to the charge later that month, after being fired by ALHS administration.

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Polley’s pretrial was scheduled to begin Friday, Dec. 2. However, the State of Minnesota filed a motion Tuesday, Nov. 29 to introduce evidence that Polley had previously communicated inappropriately with underage girls in his previous position at Woodberry High School in South Washington County.

According to court documents, Woodberry leadership received a phone call from parents admonishing Polley for “inappropriate texting” with a 10th-grade student.

According to court documents, Polley had texted with multiple students and requested photos from at least one during spring break of 2021. The court documents state that Polley resigned from Woodberry due to the accusations.

While previous accusations or criminal convictions are not usually admitted in court, the State of Minnesota argued that the Woodberry incident proved “motive, opportunity, intent, plan, absence of mistake or accident” in the alleged Albert Lea High School incident.

Polley’s defense argued Nov. 29 that the information would cause unfair prejudice and should not be admitted.

Polley’s new pretrial is scheduled for April 14, 2023 with a jury trial May 1, 2023.