An Arkansas high school teacher has been arrested and charged with a sex offense. The Bentonville police arrested the 62-year-old male business and computer science teacher for second degree sexual assault after a student accused him of touching the student's crotch area. Police have not revealed the age or gender of the complainant.
Second-degree sexual assault is a class B felony in Arkansas. It applies to a number of statutorily specified situations, one of which is sexual contact by a teacher with a student. The high school student was allegedly in the teacher's home to help him pack and move, and to make some extra money for doing so.
At some point, they sat on a couch to take a break. The teacher asked the student if he or she was "game." The student alleges that the teacher then touched his or her crotch area and made a move to start unbuckling his own pants. Police say that they subsequently recorded a conversation between the defendant and the victim in which the defendant admitted to the touching and said it would never happen again.
He implored the student not to say anything to anyone. The 25-year teaching veteran was placed on paid administrative leave by the school district. He was being held in prison without bail. The setting of bail is required and the gravity of this allegation is not sufficient enough to deny bail.
It may be that the defendant must wait until a hearing on bail is held, which is either at a special bail hearing or at a proceeding called arraignment. Because the Arkansas sexual assault statute requires "sexual contact" by the defendant, it may possibly be argued that the touching in this case is so minimal that it does not quite meet that definition. As in most criminal prosecutions, this determinative issue will ultimately be decided on the basis of the facts and surrounding circumstances developed as evidence in the matter.
Source: nwaonline.com, "Bentonville police arrest Gravette teacher", Amye Buckley, Oct. 29, 2015