Texas high school teacher Brandon Ashley McDaniel faces the prospect of an 80 year jail sentence after pleading guilty to having improper sexual relations with five female students – one as as young as 14 at Sam Houston High School in Arlington.
Two of the victims have taken to the stand in the sexual assault case against the 38-year-old, sharing similar stories of the way McDaniel groomed them both into having sexual relations with him.
McDaniel’s arrest came in February 2012 after authorities went on to receive an anonymous tip about inappropriate sexual relations McDaniel had with a student. By March of 2012 he was arrested once again after it was disclosed that he had improper sex as an educator with now up to five students.
Although two of the victims were 18, Texas law mandates that it is illegal for teachers and students from the same school district to have sex.
To date court proceedings have gone on to hear how McDaniel, who resigned as chairman of the school’s English department following his arrest, used text messages to start up relationships with the girls beginning in 2001.
Since the commencement of trial proceedings, the defendant has pleaded guilty to four charges and could receive a maximum penalty of 20 years for each count.
One of the victims, who is now 20 and attends Texas A&M University, testified that she was 17 when McDaniel sent her texts that gradually grew more sexual over time.
At the time, McDaniel had asked if she were a virgin and one message asked if she touched herself.
Went on to tell the then 17 year old victim:
‘One day in October, he kissed me,’
‘A full-blown, on the mouth kiss.’
McDaniel also allegedly asked her if he was a bad person for wanting to kiss her.
The woman called McDaniel “a laid-back teacher” who did not dress professionally. She took his English class, which she characterized as easy.
The girl would take his keys and go to the car, testifying that she would ducking down in the passenger seat whilst waiting for him to come. They would have oral sex in the car.
McDaniel allegedly told her he had never cheated on his wife before.
The next woman to testify Monday — now a 20-year-old University of Texas student told the jury that McDaniel had said the same thing to her about never cheating on his wife.
The two exchanged cellphone numbers after McDaniel asked her to do the lighting for a school dance project.
She claimed she soon got a message from him saying: ‘Tell me your darkest fantasy.’
One day while they were in the computer lab, McDaniel started kissing her.
They played truth-or-dare in text messages and had oral sex in a classroom, she told.
‘He said he had never cheated on his wife.’
Court affidavits filed upon McDaniel’s arrest stated all sexual acts were consensual.
One of the arrest affidavits, alleged McDaniel’s started a relationship with a 14-year-old.
When she turned 15 she once spent the night at McDaniel’s house when his wife was away, and he was also with the teen in her bed.
When her mother suddenly came home, McDaniel’s jumped out the window, the affidavit told.
McDaniel’s sexual relationship with one of the two women who have taken to the stand began when she was 16-year-old sophomore in 2009 and participated in an after-school program that he led, according to the affidavits.
She told police that McDaniel gave her marijuana, alcohol and cigarettes and that besides oral sex acts, they had phone sex and exchanged sexually explicit messages and photos.
She told police that she tried to end the relationship in fall 2009, but an affidavit she gave to police told “the suspect was persistent and manipulative; therefore their sexual relationship continued.”
Both women who testified said they initially did not want to take the stand.
Both went on to tell their parents were not aware that they were testifying.
One woman who testified had told police about having sex with McDaniel but then completely recanted and signed a statement for his defense attorneys saying she did not wish to prosecute.
‘I thought all parties involved had equal responsibility and it was unfair for just him to be at fault,’ she said.
Alana Minton, a Tarrant County prosecutor working on the case, asked the woman if she wanted to be on the witness stand Monday.
‘I had put this all behind me,’ she said.
‘This is just bringing it all back up.’
McDaniel has asked the jury to recommend his punishment. He will be sentenced at a later date.
The status of McDaniel’s marriage remains unclear.