Former Coronado art teacher must stand trial for enticement of a

Former Coronado art teacher must stand trial for enticement of a minor

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

U.S. Senior Judge Sam Cummings threw out a federal plea agreement Monday regarding the former Coronado High School art teacher accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a minor. Judge Cummings ordered the federal government to proceed prosecuting Hall for enticement and attempted enticement of a minor, and set a trial date.

Hall originally cut a plea deal with the U.S. Attorney's office to duck that charge in November, and instead entered a guilty plea for a lesser charge of "use of interstate facilities to transport information about a minor."

Court records show Hall admitted to using a cell phone to send the name and address of the 15-year-old victim to someone else, intending to entice her to have sex with him, in January 2018. The victim's mother went to Lubbock police in September to report the communication, believing her daughter was involved in a sexual relationship with Hall at the time. Court filings show an e-mail exchange between Hall and the victim, in which Hall reportedly told the victim he loves touching her, and he intended to "spend hours watching movies and rolling around in bed. I love you."

Court records show the victim admitted to having the relationship with Hall, then the victim's mother confronted Hall through text messages. Court records show Hall told the victim's mother "my fault was caring too much in the wrong way." The messages reportedly show Hall promises to never contact the victim again, and he "truly wanted to be that Art Dad, but I let my care for her cross a line. It was a huge mistake to hurt the two of you, and I know it is impossible for you to believe, but I never wanted this to hurt anybody. It was misguided affection." The documents show Hall told the mother "I am not a predator, and this has never happened nor will it again."

In October Hall confessed to having the relationship to an FBI agent, saying "the inappropriate part of their relationship" started to occur going into the summer of 2018. He claimed he had strong feelings for the victim and said he loved her, and admitted he knew what he was doing was inappropriate. 

Hall cut the deal with prosecutors in November, pleading guilty to "Use of interstate facilities to transport information about a minor," in exchange for less than five years in prison, less than $250,000 in fines, supervised release, and up to $20,000 in restitution. 

With Judge Cummings throwing out that deal, the U.S. Attorney's office must prosecute Hall for the original charges of enticement and attempted enticement of a minor, which carries a prison sentence of up to 15 years and/or a fine. The trial is set to begin April 15.

In addition to the federal enticement charge, a Lubbock grand jury indicted Hall on a state charge of having an inappropriate relationship with a student in October 2018. Prosecutors allege Hall violated terms of his pre-trial release in early January, when he reportedly tried to beckon a former 15-year-old female student over to his car at a gas station. The judge placed him on 24-hour house arrest. 

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