A former Granbury High School teacher accused of sending sexually explicit text messages to a 16-year-old student was given seven years’ deferred adjudication and ordered to permanently surrender her Texas teaching permit.
Action came Wednesday afternoon in District Judge Ralph Walton’s court.
Deferred adjudication means that if the defendant follows all terms of the plea bargain for seven years, her criminal charge will be dismissed.
Wendallyn (Wendy) Dyan King, 47, formerly of Cleburne and now with a residence listed in Walnut Springs, was charged with improper relationship between an educator and a student after the incident last school year.
She signed a confession as part of a plea bargain agreement recommendation from District Attorney Rob Christian.
The plea bargain was approved by the male victim, now 17, and his mother.
She was also ordered by Walton to serve 20 days in the Hood County Jail, pay restitution and provisions of supervision totaling about $1,500 ($110 per month), and attend counseling through Grace Bible Church once a month.
King, who had no previous criminal history, Christian said, could have been sentenced to between 2 and 20 years in prison and assessed a fine of up to $10,000.
King, who waived her right to have a jury trial, may not appeal as a result of the plea deal, Walton said.
King had taught American Sign Language for two years at the school, according to GHS Public Information Officer Jeff Meador.
School administrators contacted the Granbury Police Department after learning of the incident involving the student.
Christian said that King sent the student “text messages about sexual acts” and there was no allegation that any illegal physical contact took place. He said it’s important to note that the law covers messages sent electronically, but not verbal interaction.
“It is a relatively new offense that criminalizes that conduct, and it’s only criminal if the communication is done by electronic media,” Christian explained.
“If the statements had been made face-to-face, it wouldn’t be a criminal offense.”
King resigned her teaching post, effective May 23, 2012, after the allegations surfaced. An arrest warrant was issued by the Granbury Police, and she turned herself in on June 6 at the Law Enforcement Center in Granbury.
King was released from custody on June 11 after posting $12,500 bond.
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