MIDLAND (AP) - A former Midland Academy Charter School teacher was sentenced to 26 years in prison Wednesday after a jury convicted him of two counts of sexual assault of a child and two counts of an improper relationship with a student.
Attorney Hal Brockett said he was surprised by the jury's verdict against client David van Houten.
"We respect the jury's decision, but I have worked in the system for 30 years and it was a bit of a surprise for me. The jury just believed the victim and didn't believe Mr. Van Houten," Brockett said.
Van Houten, who had been an eighth-grade social studies and gifted and talented teacher, was convicted of having sex with a 14-year-old girl.
The girl testified that Van Houten persuaded her to allow him to have sexual intercourse with her on her 14th birthday last fall and again a month later in a portable classroom.
Midland Academy Charter School
FORMER MIDLAND TEACHER SENTENCED IN CHILD SEX ASSAULT; July 26, 2007; Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (TX)