A Garland High School Teacher Pleaded Guilty Yesterday to Videotaping Himself Having Sex With Four Students
On May 22, Garland police raided the home of Willis Bassham, a 40-year-old social studies teacher at Garland High School, and seized his cell phone and several computers. Stored there were sexually explicit photos and videos of at least four female students.
One, who was 17 at the time, was shown in a 47-second video clip giving him a blow job. Another 10-second clip showed the two having sex.
Bassham was arrested and, Tuesday, pleaded guilty to one count of possessing child pornography, for which he faces a maximum 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
As wildly unethical as it may be for a teacher to leverage his position of power to convince students to have sex with him, that was not Bassham's crime. The age of consent in Texas is 17, and none were younger than that when he slept with them, according to court filings.
Where Bassham ran afoul of the law was in videotaping himself doing it. Federal law considers 17-year-olds minors and thus covered under child pornography rules. Besides, one of the girls was 16 when he first received pornographic photos of her.
Bassham's sentencing is scheduled for April 15.