PORTAGE | A Fegely Middle School teacher was arrested Friday after police said he sent sexually oriented text messages and a sexually explicit picture of himself to two former Fegely female students.
Bryan Tyman, 44, of Portage, was being held in Porter County Jail on two counts of child solicitation and two counts of vicarioius sexual gratification.
Tyman taught social studies at Fegely and has served as the coach of the Portage High School girls golf team.
Portage Township Schools Superintendent E. Ric Frataccia said he was made aware of the allegations about 9 a.m. Friday by the school principal. Police said an anonymous tip by a student on behalf of the victims warned of the misconduct.
According to police, Tyman maintained a relationship with the girls, who are now in high school, through phone conversations and texts for about a year. Recently he started sending texts "that were sexually inappropriate in nature," police said.
When another student saw a photo he sent to one of the girls' phones, School Resource Officer Michael Candiano was notified, police said.
Police said Tyman was questioned by Detective Janis Regnier and confessed to sending the sexually explicit picture and to asking the students to send him pictures of themselves. The students did not send any pictures, police said.
"From the time of the initial tip until he was in custody was only 3 1/2 or 4 hours," Police Chief Troy Williams said. "That's very commendable considering the seriousness of the charges."
Williams praised Candiano, Regnier, school officials and the Porter County prosecutor's office for swift action leading to Tyman's arrest.
Williams said he didn't know if Tyman was involved with any other students.
Frataccia said Tyman taught in the district for about five years. Although he couldn't speak specifically on the school's actions against Tyman, Frataccia said normal procedure is suspension without pay during the investigation.