Teacher pleads guilty, gets 30 years
By Patrick Yost
A former Morgan County Middle School teacher on Wednesday in Morgan County Superior Court pled guilty to several child molestation charges based on interaction with four 14-year-old students.
Laura Hall Dyar, 29, Watkinsville, a former eighth grade teacher, was sentenced to a total of 30 years, with 10 years to serve and the remainder to be served on probation, after pleading guilty to one count child molestation, one count enticing a child for indecent purposes, one count criminal attempt to commit enticing a child for indecent purposes and two counts sexual exploitation of children.
Along with incarceration and probation, Dyar was also sentenced to pay a $2,000 fine, ordered to have no contact with the victims or their families, must abide by all sex offender conditions, was banished from Morgan County and “shall not be employed in the education field in any way whatsoever…”
Dyar was released from the Morgan County Courthouse and ordered to turn herself in to authorities on Dec. 31 to begin serving her sentence.
She was arrested on March 14, 2011 after an initial warrant alleged that she engaged in sexual conduct with a 14-year-old male student in a department store parking lot in Madison.
Days before her arrest, Dyar resigned from her position with the school after a meeting with administrators.
In June 2011, Dyar was indicted on 10 counts of charges ranging from aggravated child molestation to sexual exploitation of children. Alison Burleson, assistant district attorney, Ocmulgee Judicial District, said Dyar was sentenced for activities that involved four separates students, ranging from engaging in sexual conduct with the students to sexual exploitation after investigators located sexually explicit images of the some of the students on her cell phone.
Burleson said the state was satisfied with the sentencing. "I think its a fair result based on what she did. It allows the victims to move on and not have to come to court to testify about this."
Court documents state that none of the activity took place on campus. In one charge, Dyar took a student to Athens, purchased him a pair of tennis shoes and a video game and then had inappropriate contact with the student in her car. In another charge, she attempted to arrange a meeting with a student following an athletic event but that meeting was thwarted when the student's aunt arrived.
According to a story in the Morgan County Citizen, Dyar's arrest came after a two–week investigation by the Madison Police Department and the GBI after one of the victim's guardian's contacted police regarding what the guardian said was inappropriate contact between Dyar and the student.
Printed in the December 27, 2012 edition