VALPARAISO | A Portage girl's father is hoping a judge rejects a plea entered Wednesday from former Fegely Middle School teacher Bryan Tyman, who's accused of sexually soliciting the 14-year-old girl and other students.
"He needs some jail time," the girl's father said outside the Porter County Courthouse. "He needs to be locked up. He's played with our kids' minds."
Just moments earlier, 45-year-old Tyman pleaded guilty to two Class D felony counts of child solicitation. One charge alleges he sent a sexually suggestive text message to a former student in December 2011 and the other that he sent the same type of text messages and a photo of his penis to a group of three underage girls a year later.
Prosecutors agreed to drop a third Class D felony count of vicarious sexual gratification in return for the plea and require Tyman to serve no more than the three or four days he already has spent behind bars.
If the proposal is accepted, he will spend six years on formal probation and spend the first year on home detention. He will be required to register as sex offender for 10 years, undergo sex offender treatment and lose his state teaching license for life.
Porter Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper expressed some doubt about accepting the deal at the next hearing Nov. 13.
"Time will tell on this," she said.
Harper also commented about prosecutors decision to drop a more serious Class B felony count against Tyman of sexual misconduct with a minor, explaining that she has no say over that decision.
Deputy Prosecutor Cheryl Polarek said the move, which is independent of the proposed plea agreement, was taken at the request of the purported victim, who did not want to proceed with the case.
The girl, who had been a student of Tyman, claimed she and Tyman had sex twice while she was still 15 last year and then on average of once a week through Jan. 24 at his house in Portage.
She also gave police a letter she said was written by Tyman that says in part, "My love for you must be kept quiet until you are old enough."