Former substitute guilty of online solicitation, not guilty of indecency

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NEW BOSTON, Texas: A Bowie County jury returned a mixed verdict Thursday evening in the case of a former substitute teacher accused of sexual misconduct with multiple 12, 13 and 14-year-old girls who attended New Boston Middle School in 2017.

Dylan Reed Simpson, 22, wept as he testified Thursday under questioning from Texarkana defense attorney Shorty Barrett. Simpson admitted that he sent sexual messages and photos to some girls but not all who he claimed he had and denied ever touching any of the girls who claimed he touched them inappropriately while on campus.

At issue in Simpson’s trial this week were allegations of sexually graphic SnapChat messages and inappropriate touching involving a girl who was 12 at New Boston Middle School in the fall of 2017. The girl testified that she received random shots from Simpson of his penis and alleged that he touched her breast in the school cafeteria and while hugging her.

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Multiple girls testified that Simpson often sent them sexually oriented messages on social media and touched them at school. One of the alleged victims whose case was not before the jury this week, testified that Simpson often sent her photos of his penis and that he used hugging as an excuse to touch her breasts and bottom.

Another alleged victim testified that she was working in the school’s computer lab when Simpson placed his hand on her thigh and then moved it to her crotch. That girl went immediately to the school’s office and reported the incident, prompting a call to law enforcement.

On the stand Thursday, Simpson admitted sending photos and telling girls he wanted to have sex with them in his truck. But Simpson sobbed as he denied ever touching one of the young schoolgirls.

The jury was directed by 202nd District Judge John Tidwell to return to court Friday morning to decide what punishment Simpson should receive for online solicitation of a minor. The crime is punishable by two to 20 years in prison.

Other charges of online solicitation and indecency concerning other alleged victims remain pending against Simpson.

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