Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

March 7, 2014

Record on Rider case sealed

Steve Woodhouse

Knoxville — The criminal complaint and the record of Troy Neil Rider's initial appearance this morning have been sealed. 

Rider, 33, is a PE teacher and head football coach for Knoxville High School. He turned himself in to the Knoxville Police Department Friday at noon and was booked into the Marion County Jail. He has been charged with two counts of third-degree sexual abuse and one count of sexual exploitation by a school teacher. The KPD indicated in its press release that the investigation is ongoing and more charges are possible. 

Rider appeared before Judge Steve Guiter this afternoon. Guiter granted a joint motion to seal the criminal complaint and the record of Rider's initial appearance. Guiter referenced Iowa Code Section 915.36, which reads: 

"Prior to an arrest or the filing of an information or indictment, whichever occurs first, against a person charged with a violation of chapter 709, section 726.2, or section 728.12, committed with or on a child, as defined in section 702.5, the identity of the child or any information reasonably likely to disclose the identity of the child shall not be released to the public by any public employee except as authorized by the court of jurisdiction."

Marion County Attorney Ed Bull, who will prosecute Rider, told the Journal-Express, "Under Iowa Code, anytime in which a child is a victim of sexual abuse, the code permits the child's identity to be protected. Traditionally, we use initials." 

Bull went on to say that under the current circumstances, he believed that the victim's identity could be revealed through the use of initials. He wanted to ensure the victim's privacy. 

Bull confirmed that there is one victim in this case. The KPD's press release indicated that the victim is a 15-year-old student at Knoxville High School. The alleged victim came to Knoxville Schools Superintendent Randy Flack and KHS Principal Kevin Crawford on Feb. 11. The KPD investigation began after that. Flack wanted to commend the student and her family for coming forward. 

"I admire the courage of the student and her family, in bringing these allegations to the attention of Mr. Crawford and me.  It's wasn't easy for the student to confront the situation," Flack said in an email message. "The Knoxville Police Department and the County Attorney have spent many hours investigating the incidents for which Mr. Rider was charged.  They did a lot of work and I'm sure they have a lot of work ahead."

Flack added that the school district is working with legal counsel to evaluate the district's options moving forward. 

"Through all of this our primary concern remains with the student and her family.  We will continue to support them in any way we can," Flack said. 

Knoxville Police Chief Dan Losada could not provide further comment regarding the situation. No future court date for Rider has been set. 

We will continue to follow this case and should have an update on Monday.