Students testify in former substitute’s child sex abuse trial

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NEW BOSTON, Texas: A Bowie County jury heard testimony from a number of witnesses Wednesday in the sex abuse trial of a former substitute teacher including two girls who were students in 2017.

Dylan Reed Simpson, 22, is on trial for indecency with a child by contact and online solicitation of a minor involving a girl who was 12 when Simpson worked as a substitute teacher at New Boston Middle School in late 2017. Simpson faces two to 20 years on each count if found guilty.

A number of teachers testified Wednesday that Simpson was overly familiar and friendly with students and that his behavior led several of them to bring their concerns to their superiors. School Counselor Dana McAdoo testified that a “very upset” 12-year-old student made a disturbing allegation Dec. 5, 2017, regarding Simpson that led her to have the student prepare a written statement.

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McAdoo said she and the school’s former principal interviewed another student that day as well. Johnny Millwood testified he was working at the New Boston Police Department when school authorities contacted police.

Millwood said that he arranged for approximately 20 students to be forensically interviewed at the Texarkana Children’s Advocacy Center in connection with the case.

In a video recording of Millwood interviewing Simpson, Simpson at first claims he has had no contact with students via social media but later admits that he had. Simpson denied touching any students.

But a girl who said Simpson was subbing in her 8th grade class in 2017 testified Wednesday that Simpson walked up to her desk in class and rubbed his crotch on her arm. The girl testified that she was shaking and unsure of what to do. The girl said students noticed that Simpson often appeared to be in an aroused state as he walked around class. The girl said she did not respond to an attempt by Simpson to connect on social media.

A second student witness who testified Wednesday said Simpson contacted her on SnapChat and began sending her sexually suggestive messages and pictures of himself in his underwear and a picture of his penis.

Texas Department of Public Safety Special Agent Chris Ledbetter testified that he was unable to acquire data from SnapChat from Simpson’s phone because he had deleted the application before turning it over to police.

The alleged victim involved in the charges for which Simpson is on trial is expected to testify Thursday. Simpson’s attorney, Shorty Barrett of Texarkana, told the jury in opening statements that Simpson is guilty of some misconduct but not to the extent alleged.

Simpson is represented by Texarkana attorney Joe Tyler as well. First Assistant District Attorney and Assistant District Attorney Lauren Richards are prosecuting.

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