Former Portage teacher agrees to jail time in student sexting case

2014-01-14T13:00:00Z 2014-01-15T10:04:09Z Former Portage teacher agrees to jail time in student sexting caseBob Kasarda, (219) 548-4345
January 14, 2014 1:00 pm  • 

VALPARAISO | A former Portage middle school teacher was handcuffed in the courtroom and taken away to jail Tuesday after pleading guilty a second time to sending sexually suggestive text messages to students.

Bryan Tyman's first plea was rejected in November by Porter Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper, who was unhappy the agreement did not call for any more jail time than the six days he had already served.

Harper said Tuesday the revamped deal was more appropriate considering the gravity of the crimes.

Tyman was sentenced to 120 days behind bars, which will amount to 60 actual days with credit for good behavior. He will then spend three years and 233 days on probation, register as a sex offender and comply with those limitations for 10 years, and undergo a sex offender evaluation and treatment.

The 45-year-old is also prohibited from seeking a teaching license or other teaching job during his years on probation.

The original deal called for Tyman to spend six years on probation and spend the first year on home detention.

Absent from Tuesday's hearing were the family members of the young victims, who attended earlier court appearances.

Tyman pleaded guilty Tuesday to two Class D felony counts of child solicitation in return for prosecutors dropping a third Class D felony count of vicarious sexual gratification.

A sentencing memorandum filed by the defense said when Tyman, a Fegely Middle School teacher, was asked by one of the girls in December 2011 what he wanted for Christmas, he responded by text, "I think you know what I want." There were no further advances.

A year later, three female students taking part in a sleep-over sent him a series of sexually explicit messages posing as one girl and asked for a sexually explicit photo, according to the memo. After initially dodging a sexual response, he reportedly joined in, sent the requested photo and asked for a photo of the girl.

Defense attorney Bryan Truitt told the court Tuesday the case is sad because Tyman was a fantastic teacher, who attracted interest in history, which is not easy at the middle school level.

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