The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

May 10, 2013

Counselor in student sex scandal pleads guilty in deal

NEVADA, Mo. — A former Bronaugh High School counselor accused of having sexual relations with students pleaded guilty Friday to two misdemeanor counts of assault in a plea deal requiring her to surrender her state teaching certificate.

Lori A. Layher, 37, of Moundville, pleaded guilty to the reduced charges at a hearing in Vernon County Circuit Court in Nevada and received suspended sentences.

Layher had been charged with single counts of statutory rape and statutory sodomy and four counts of sexual contact with a student by a school employee. The counts stemmed from alleged sexual contact with two boys under the age of 17 between Dec. 1, 2009, and March 31, 2010, both on and off school grounds.

The defendant was facing the prospect of up to seven years in prison if convicted of either of the statutory offenses and up to five years on each of the other four counts.

Julie Tolle, the assistant attorney general prosecuting the case, told Circuit Judge James Bickel that the plea agreement had been struck with the concurrence of the two male victims in the case, both of whom are now of age with one currently serving in the military.

Tolle said the state was recommending that Layher receive one-year suspended jail terms on each of the assault counts and two years of supervised probation, with a special condition that she surrender her certificate to teach in Missouri. The prosecutor said the defendant also would be waiving her right to appeal the revocation of her certificate and agreeing to “never teach again.”

The judge imposed one-year terms with suspended execution of the sentences and placed Layher on just one year of supervised probation.

The misdemeanor assault convictions pertain to the slamming of a car door on one of the victims and the grabbing of the other by his arm and forcibly removing him from her office at the high school.

The defendant was accused of much more serious offenses in a probable-cause affidavit filed with the original charges in November 2011 following a long investigation by the Vernon County sheriff’s office.

One of the students told an investigator that Layher asked for his cellphone number in late 2009 and he received a text message asking him to meet her at Bushwhacker Lake. The rendezvous allegedly led to sex in a parking lot at the lake. He told the investigator that on another occasion she invited him over to her house and engaged in both oral and conventional sex with him. The same student alleged that she engaged in oral sex with him multiple times in her office at the high school.

The other student claimed similar sexual trysts at the lake and at her home.


The attorney general’s office assumed prosecution of Lori Layher after the recusal of the Vernon County prosecutor’s office because of a potential conflict of interest related to the local probation office’s employment of a family member of the suspect.


Text Only
Local News
  • Pseudoephedrine sales in Pittsburg to require prescription

    Starting Friday, those who purchase pseudoephedrine and related products in Pittsburg will need a prescription to do so.

    July 22, 2014

  • Cherokee County Commission accepts general counsel's resignation

    Kevin Cure, who has served as general counsel for the Cherokee County Commission since 2005, submitted a handwritten resignation to the board on Monday in the aftermath of a landfill controversy.

    July 22, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Parents can get help with school supplies

    I don’t know much about demographics other than the fact that I no longer belong to a “targeted demographic.” When I was younger, I was bombarded by commercials and ads from companies that were trying to sell me things that I not only needed but wanted.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jasper County Commission reviews traffic plans

    The Jasper County Commission will hold public hearings today and Thursday on a number of traffic changes proposed in the county. No one spoke when the first hearing was held Tuesday as part of the regular commission meeting, according to Jim Honey, Eastern District associate commissioner.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin school board reviews audit procedures

    A team from the Missouri State Auditor’s Office has begun requesting documents in its task to audit the operations and management of the Joplin School District, the audit manager told the Board of Education on Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin man to stand trial in accident case

    A passenger accused of causing an accident on Interstate 44 in Joplin that injured three others as well as himself was ordered bound over for trial Tuesday on three felony counts.

    July 22, 2014

  • r072214soroptimist3.jpg Volunteers spend week providing camp experience to foster youths

    Karen McGlamery is a massage therapist. Terri Falis-Cochran is a finance manager. Jane McCaulley is a retired art teacher. But for a week each summer, the three are among dozens of area residents who become camp counselors.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Neosho school board hires company to manage substitutes

    Citing its hopes of shifting health care costs and utilizing more time from retired teachers, the Neosho Board of Education granted a contract Monday to a temporary employee company to manage its substitute teacher program.

    July 22, 2014

  • Main Street TIF district study to begin

    A measure that allows the city to charge its $15,000 in administrative costs for studying a proposal to create a tax increment financing district on South Main Street was approved Monday by the Joplin City Council.

    July 21, 2014

  • Carthage man pleads guilty in sexual abuse case

    A Carthage man pleaded guilty Monday to sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl in a plea agreement that would cap the length of his prison term at no more than 15 years.

    July 21, 2014

Must Read


A state lawmaker who is one of two doctors in the Oklahoma Legislature is insisting that unaccompanied immigrant minors being housed at Fort Sill be quarantined. Do you think those kinds of measures should be taken?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter