DA Drops Teacher "Sexting" Case, Cites Ruling

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Tarrant County district attorney's office dropped the case against Sean Arlis Williams, a junior high teacher in the suburb of Everman. (Published Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014)

    Prosecutors have dropped a case against a teacher accused of exchanging sexually explicit texts with a 13-year-old student, alleging that an appeals court ruling found them to be protected speech.

    The Tarrant County district attorney's office dropped the case against Sean Arlis Williams, a junior high teacher in the suburb of Everman.

    The district attorney's office spokeswoman, Melody McDonald, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram the decision resulted from an October ruling by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. That court ruled a state law against sexually explicit online communication between adult and minor violated First Amendment free speech rights.

    The ruling came in the case of a Houston man accused of sending sexually explicit text messages to a student. His attorney, Mark Bennett of Houston, argued the statute was too broad.