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Published: Thursday, March 23, 2017 @ 2:22 AM
Updated: Thursday, March 23, 2017 @ 9:52 AM
LOCKHART, Texas — Why did a Texas teacher accused of having an improper relationship with a student smile in her mugshot? Her lawyer has offered an explanation.
According to Dallas-Fort Worth's KXAS, Jason Nassour, attorney for Lockhart High School anatomy teacher Sarah Fowlkes, said she was grinning because she's innocent.
"This isn't a guilty person sitting there like they just got caught," Nassour told KXAS. "When everything's fleshed out, it won't be as it appears."
Lockhart police began investigating the incident March 10 after a school administrator reported that "an educator at the school may be having an inappropriate relationship with a currently enrolled student," according to the arrest affidavit. A 17-year-old student claimed that Fowlkes, 27, touched his genitals and that he "made contact with the defendant's breasts," the affidavit said.
Fowlkes was arrested on a charge of "improper relationship between educator and student," police said. The school district also suspended Fowlkes, The Austin American-Statesman reported.
"Lockhart parents entrust their children to us every day, and it is something we do not take lightly," Lockhart Superintendent Susan Bohn said in a statement, the American-Statesman reported. "The district does not and will not tolerate any improper communication or contact between a teacher and child."
Bohn also alerted parents about the arrest and suspension in an email, the American-Statesman reported.
Nassour told KXAS that Fowlkes "was arrested on the statement of a 17-year-old kid with no corroborating evidence."
According to the American-Statesman, Fowlkes, who taught anatomy and physiology and environmental systems at Lockhart High, previously taught science and social studies at Plum Creek Elementary School. The Houston Chronicle, citing Fowlkes' social media accounts, reported that she has been married since 2013.
Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 10:26 AM
ABC News reported that the parents was moving from California to Oklahoma days before they were arrested and charged with torture and child endangerment, citing multiple unnamed sources.
David Turpin was getting a job transfer with a defense contractor he was working with, according to ABC News. Moving boxes were reportedly found at the residence. The report says the family has moved to multiple places over the years, including a home in Texas.
The couple’s 17-year-old daughter had escaped the home early Jan. 14 and called 911, saying her 12 siblings were “being held captive” at a Perris, California, residence by her parents.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said in a Jan. 15 news release that the siblings, ranging in ages from 2 to 29, “appeared to be malnourished and very dirty.” Six of the siblings are minors.
Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, were charged with 12 counts of torture and a lewd act on a child by force or fear of duress. The siblings could only have one meal a day and take one shower a year. Hestrin said at a news conference that the siblings were able to write in journals all the time, which will provide “strong evidence of what occurred in that home.”
Two dogs were found by authorities in the home, according to city spokesman Joe Vargo. Vadrgo said in a statement that the two Maltese terrier dogs were in much better condition than the siblings.
“The animals, one white and one black, appear healthy and friendly and are leash-trained, according to Christina Avila, a senior animal control officer,” a news release from the City of Perris said.
Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 3:50 PM
RANKIN COUNTY, Miss. — Deputies in Mississippi arrested two women Monday night on suspicion of drug trafficking after authorities said they found 51 pounds of heroin and a 3-month-old child in an SUV the women were driving.
A deputy pulled over a Ford SUV on Interstate 20 in Rankin County on Monday night for an unspecified traffic violation. Authorities said that during the stop, the deputy became suspicious that the SUV was being used to transport drugs or contraband.
Deputies said the women in the vehicle, driver Arlene Viridiana Moya, 23, and passenger Trisha Lynne Ibarra, 23, allowed authorities to search the SUV. Inside, deputies said they found 51 pounds of heroin concealed in the vehicle.
Deputies estimated the drugs were worth between $2 million and $10 million.
Authorities also found Ibarra’s 3-month-old child in the SUV, deputies said. Rankin County Court Judge Tom Broome ordered the toddler be taken into the custody of Child Protective Services.
Moya, of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, and Ibarra, of Laredo, Texas, were arrested on charges of aggravated trafficking of heroin.
Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 10:42 AM
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Police at the University of Central Florida are warning students to be on their guard after a woman said a man tried to assault her in a campus parking garage Monday.
UCF police said a woman who attends the university was approached around 6 p.m. by an unknown man who asked for help with his car in Garage C.
During the exchange, the man tried to touch the student's leg, police said, causing her to scream and run away.
UCF police issue warning after student says man tried to touch her leg in campus parking garage https://t.co/kRUDf1OjUB— WFTV Eyewitness News (@WFTV) January 23, 2018
The student immediately called police and described the man as 5 feet 7 inches tall. He was wearing glasses, a gray sweater and dark pants, she told authorities.
UCF police said the description of the incident closely matches two similar incidents that happened on campus within the past month and a half.
In December, a student reported that she was inappropriately grabbed by a man inside the Business Administration II building, the UCF Police Department said.
The student told investigators that the incident happened at about 5:50 p.m., UCF police spokeswoman Courtney Gilmartin said.
The man, who she did not know, was lingering near a vending machine and started talking to her before grabbing her, Gilmartin said.
"It's just unfortunate that we have to deal with that here at UCF. I feel like we're so close as a family and as a university. It's incredible that we have to do this," UCF student Ponatoyas Jusakus said.
Investigators said the woman ran from the building and reported the incident about an hour later.
The man was described as being dark-skinned with a thin build and about 5 feet 7 inches tall. He was wearing a gray hoodie and jeans at the time of the incident, police said.
A similar incident happened in the same building Dec. 4, Gilmartin said. The victim in that case provided a similar description of the culprit, but no one was arrested.
Police said they do not believe the two incidents are related to a similar encounter at Valencia College this week.
Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 1:54 AM
BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — An 81-year-old woman suffered minor injuries after she lost control of her Toyota Solara and backed into the glass windows of a McDonald’s west of Boynton Beach, Florida, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
The woman will be charged with careless driving, PBSO spokesperson Teri Barbera said Monday.
The crash happened around 3:30 p.m. at Military Trail and Boynton Beach Boulevard when the woman backed up and inadvertently drove through the window.
“Glass flew everywhere,” said a witness, who said she was drinking a soda inside when the car plowed through the window.
The witness, who asked not to be identified, said the glass cut her fingers. She said the driver then drove forward and hit her parked Volkswagen. The driver continued about 150 feet and hit a tree next to a canal, Barbera said.