Chesterton Tribune



Sex offender who got short jail term in plea deal accused of probation violation

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The probation officer of the former Portage middle school teacher sentenced to 120 days in jail earlier this year for sexting students is seeking to have the convicted sex offender’s formal probation revoked.

Brian L. Tyman, 45, was sentenced in January by Porter Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper to 120 days, with the balance of his four-year sentence suspended, after Tyman pleaded guilty to two counts of child solicitation. Under an earlier plea agreement, struck with the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Tyman would have been sentenced to time already served--six days in the Porter County Jail following his arrest--and formal probation.

Harper rejected that initial agreement, however, and insisted on additional jail time. Under a subsequent plea agreement more to her liking, Harper sentenced Tyman to four years, with all but 120 days suspended.

As part of her sentence, though, Harper imposed numerous conditions, some of which Tyman’s probation officer, Douglas Lang, now says Tyman is in violation of, in a petition for the revocation of formal probation filed on Sept. 24.

Lang specifically accuses Tyman of the following:

* Failing to comply with the terms of his court-ordered sex offender treatment program.

* Accessing Facebook, through a Google search, “to look at information on two female and two male ex-students.”

* Google-searching a “person he is ordered by the court to have no contact with” and trying to access this person’s Twitter account, which was blocked to public viewing.

* Deleting the browsing history on his iPad, or otherwise enabling the setting “to not track browsing history.”

* Accessing--by his own admission--a pornographic website “numerous times for a six- to eight-week period.”

* Accessing the Internet at all, in the first place, without his probation officer’s prior approval, and visiting not only a pornographic site but social networking, news, and sports sites.

* Traveling to a driving range without permission, in a trip which he neither logged in a required journal nor reported to Lang.

Lang wants Tyman’s formal probation revoked and a 180-day sentence in the jail imposed on him, before Tyman’s returned to formal probation.

Tyman was charged in February 2013, following an investigation which began after a student at Fegley Middle School alerted the school resource officer (SRO) to Tyman’s “misconduct” with two juvenile females.

Investigators learned that Tyman had been “maintaining a relationship” with previous students through phone conversations and text messages and that recently he’d begun “sending messages that were sexually inappropriate in nature,” Portage Police said at the time.

Tyman subsequently confessed to sending a sexually explicit picture of himself and asking the students to send pictures of themselves, the PPD also said.

The students did not send Tyman such pictures.

At the time of his sentencing, Harper noted the following mitigating factor: that “Tyman is likely to respond well to probation or a short jail term.”


Posted 10/8/2014




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