By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — An Albert Lea High School counselor and girls basketball coach has been charged with sexually assaulting a female student.

Richard John Polley, 32, was charged Friday with third-degree sexual conduct in Freeborn County District Court for engaging in sexual relations with a 16-year-old girl at his home in January.

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According to the complaint, the student says she has known Polley since the beginning of the year and was her counselor. The student said she would go to his office frequently and talk with him about her day.

Richard Polley (credit: Freeborn County)

In late December, the student says Polley and her connected on social media. She says there were a few points when Polley said “this isn’t appropriate,” the complaint said.

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On Jan. 8, the student says she was at friend’s house when she was speaking to Polley who was at a bar in Albert Lea. Polley told the student to “swing by and say hi.”

The student says she visited Polley’s home and was sexually assaulted by him. She went back to her friend’s home right after.

After the encounter, the student says she saw Polley every day the next week and did not talk about the encounter.

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A statement from the Albert Lea Area Schools Superintendent on Thursday says Polley “has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation. Coaching duties have been assumed by an assistant until further notice.”