MOUNT VERNON, Mo. — A judge ordered a 26-year-old substitute teacher bound over for trial Thursday on one of two charges that she was facing in Lawrence County for alleged sexual contact with a Monett High School student.
Associate Court Judge Robert George found probable cause for Loryn M. Barclay to stand trial on a single count of the offense following a preliminary hearing in Lawrence County Circuit Court.
The student involved testified at the hearing that he became interested in Barclay when she was substitute teaching at his high school near the end of 2017. He initiated contact and they began communicating by social media and through text messages. A written statement he later provided Monett police acknowledged that they soon bonded "over hobbies and mutual interests."
After chatting each other up for about a week, he asked her if it would be all right to start seeing her outside of school, he told the court.
"We had sex twice and oral sex once," the teen testified.
He was 17 at the time, which is the legal age of consent in Missouri. But the state also has a statute that prohibits sexual contact with a student by a teacher, student teacher, administrator, employee or volunteer in a public school. The offense is a Class D felony carrying up to seven years in prison.
After the relationship came to light in June 2017, Barclay was charged with two counts of the offense in Lawrence County and two more in Barry County. Probable-cause affidavits alleged that she'd had sex with him twice at his home, which is in Barry County, and oral sex with him in the parking lot of North Park in the Lawrence County section of Monett.
It is not clear why two counts were filed in Lawrence County. The teen's testimony was that there was just a single instance in the park, leading to the judge's decision to bind the defendant over on a single count.
The defendant waived a preliminary hearing on the other two counts in Barry County in January and has a trial date currently set there for March 13, 2019. Circuit Judge Jack Goodman recused himself in the Barry County case. It was reassigned to Jasper County Circuit Court Judge David Mouton, who recently presided over a case in which a former Webb City teacher was charged with the same offense.