Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Former Portage teacher gets 120 days for sexting

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A former Portage middle school teacher who police said sexted students has been sentenced to four months in jail, after pleading guilty to child solicitation.

Bryan L. Tyman, 45--who taught at Fegley Middle School--was originally charged with two counts of child solicitation and one of vicarious sexual gratification. Under a previous agreement with Tyman, the Porter County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office dismissed the latter count in exchange for his plea to the first two and then recommended a sentence of time served--six days in the Porter County Jail following his arrest--and formal probation.

All counts are Class D felonies punishable by a term of six months to three years.

In November, however, Porter Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper rejected that plea agreement, on the ground that Tyman’s offense warranted more time in jail than six days.

On Tuesday, Harper found a revised plea agreement more to her liking and accordingly sentenced to Tyman on the first count of child solicitation to two years in prison, with all but 132 days suspended and the balance to be served on formal probation. She then sentenced Tyman on the second count to two years in prison, will all time suspended. The two sentences are to run concurrently.

In addition, Harper gave Tyman credit for the six days already served, which under Indiana Code are doubled when applied to an offender’s sentence. Those 12 days subtracted from the 132 days give Tyman a total jail term of 120 days or four months.

Finally, Harper ordered Tyman to register as a sex offender and to complete a Project PRO evaluation and treatment as recommended.

In her order, Harper made note of one aggravating factor: Tyman “was an educator and these were school-age children who were enrolled in the school system in which he taught.”

Harper also made note of three mitigating factors: Tyman had admitted his guilt, is “likely to respond well to probation or a short jail term,” and has no previous criminal history.

Tyman was charged on Feb. 25, 2013, following an investigation which began after a student “anonymously” alerted School Resource Officer Michael Candiano to Tyman’s “misconduct” with two juvenile females.

“Through the course of the investigation, it was learned that (Tyman) had been maintaining a relationship with the previous students through phone conversations and text messages,” police said. “Recently, he had started sending messages that were sexually inappropriate in nature. When an uninvolved student observed a photo he had sent to one of the victim’s phones, the matter was brought to the attention of Candiano.”

“During an interview with Det. Janis Regnier, (Tyman) confessed to sending a sexually explicit picture of himself and also asked the students for pictures of themselves,” police said. “The students did not send pictures of themselves.”

 

Posted 1/15/2014