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Former Ryan High substitute indicted on charges of having sex with student

A former Ryan High School substitute teacher was indicted Thursday on two counts of having an improper relationship with a student.

Spencer Newton, 27, was arrested in July after investigators said he had a sexual relationship with a then 17-year-old female student when he worked at the school during the 2016-17 school year. First Assistant District Attorney Jamie Beck said Newton's next court date should be within the next three to four weeks. 

Spencer NewtonDenton Police Department
Spencer Newton
Denton Police Department

According to an arrest affidavit, Denton police began investigating Newton in May after a Ryan High staff member told administrators she saw a student get into Newton's truck one day before school. The staffer said the pair then drove off campus.

When school administrators and police interviewed the student, she told them she started messaging Newton on Snapchat, a photo-sharing social media app, in January. She told investigators she and Newton had sex in his truck at a parking lot on Loop 288 in March and she had performed oral sex on him twice, according to the affidavit.

The student told police the last sexual incident happened May 12, when Newton met her behind a portable building on campus. He asked her for oral sex, but she declined because they were at school, the affidavit said.

When investigators interviewed Newton, he initially denied the relationship but later admitted to having sex with the girl and receiving oral sex from her, police said. According to the affidavit, Newton told police the girl "did not make it hard for him" and that he was just "thinking with the wrong head."

Although the affidavit said Newton resigned his position, Denton ISD spokesman Mario Zavala said Principal Vernon Reeves terminated the substitute and told him he was not welcome on campus. 

Zavala said administrators immediately notified the State Board of Education, Child Protective Services and Lewisville ISD, where Newton also was a substitute.

Newton was released from jail on $10,000 bail in July. An improper student/teacher relationship is a second-degree felony and punishable by up to 20 years in state prison and a $10,000 fine.

As the number of cases involving improper student-teacher relationships continues to rise, a new law that went into effect in September saddles school principals and superintendents with criminal charges if they fail to report those relationships to the state.

CAITLYN JONES can be reached at 940-566-6862.