Victim in Portage ‘sexting’ case sues former teacher
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent June 13, 2014 12:02PM
Updated: July 15, 2014 6:10AM
VALPARAISO — One of the three girls involved in a 2012 “sexting” with a Portage middle school teacher is suing the teacher.
Attorney Robert Harper said he filed a lawsuit on behalf of a 16-year-old identified in the suit only by her initials and age.
The copy Harper provided of the suit against Bryan Lee Tyman, 45, states that inappropriate texts and behavior began before the December 2012 texts, where Tyman texted a photo of his genitals at the continued requests of the girls involved.
It also states that “because of the extreme and outrageous nature” of his behavior, students at Fegley Middle School were able to discover the identity of the girls, leading to “humiliation, emotional distress and significant damage to the victims’ ability to learn.”
The suit states that Tyman began texting the girl in 2011 when she was 14 and had other inappropriate behavior for a teacher, including with other students.
That behavior include giving students rides and purchasing a bottle of alcohol for them, leaving it at a door at the junior high school and directing the students where to find it, according to the lawsuit.
The suit also references Tyman’s alleged sexual relationship with another student who was 16 and thus able to consent under Indiana law.
Tyman “knew or should have known that his inappropriate and sexually charged relationships with these minors were likely to cause emotional distress” and showed disregard for their well being, the suit states.
Police arrested Tyman in early 2013 and charged him with Class D felony child solicitation for a December 2011 incident and Class D felony child solicitation charge for the texting incident and Class D felony charge of vicarious sexual gratification.
One student later texted him with two other girls during the 2012 winter break and sent him a downloaded photo of a female body part and got him to send a photo of his genitals.
He pleaded guilty to the first two charges.
Porter Superior Judge Mary Harper sentenced him on Jan. 14 to 120 days in Porter County Jail, and he is serving three years and 10 months probation.
Tyman will also register as a sex offender for 10 years and forfeited his teaching license.