Alleged victim, juvenile witnesses take the stand in Myron Stiles trial

Jessica Ozbun
Staff Reporter

STINNETT — Defendant Myron Stiles facial expression was solemn as he walked through the doors of the 316th District Courtroom on Tuesday morning. Stiles, a former second-grade teacher at Gateway Elementary School in Borger, is accused of an inappropriate relationship with one of his former students.
Stiles was employed by Borger ISD from Jan. 11, 2014, to March 28, 2017. He was placed on administrative leave on Oct. 21, 2016, and arrested on March 23, 2017.
The case by the state accuses Stiles of intentionally and knowingly engaging in sexual contact with a victim who was a child younger than 17 and doing this to gratify his sexual desire. Originally, three indictments were handed down against Stiles on May 31, 2017, but only one indictment will be heard in the trial. However, testimony by two other juvenile female witnesses who claim they also were victims will be used in this case.
A 12-member jury was picked on Monday consisting of seven women and five men, along with two alternates, a man and a woman. Stiles entered a plea of not guilty on Monday afternoon. Snider gave his opening argument at this time as well.
Court started on Tuesday morning with the witnesses for both the state and defendant being sworn in by presiding Judge James Mosley. The judge told the witnesses that they were being placed under a rule that would keep them from discussing the case with anyone until they are released from the rule. The witnesses were then escorted out of the courtroom.
At this point, Mosley called for the jury to be brought into the courtroom.
The state called the alleged victim to the stand to testify first. The girl took her place on the stand for nearly an hour. District Attorney Mark Snider asked her if she knew why she was there. She answered because she was sexually assaulted by her teacher. These alleged incidents occurred in February and March of 2013.
The alleged victim said that Stiles was her second-grade teacher at Gateway Elementary School in Borger. Snider asked her if she could identify Stiles, and she pointed to him and named the color of shirt that he was wearing. Snider then asked her how old she was when the alleged incidents happened and she said, 8. He then asked how old she was now and she responded, 14.
Snider stated to the girl that she had waited sometime to tell what had happen. It was nearly three years before she had talked about the incident with anyone.
“What made you tell?” Snider asked the girl.
She answered that she had a friend that told her a secret about cutting herself, so she decided to share her own secret with her friend. Shortly after discussing it with her friend, she decided to tell her mother. Snider asked her why she decided to tell her mother at this point. The girl exclaimed that she was tired of carrying the burden on her shoulders.
Snider asked the girl how many times the alleged abuse happened. She answered twice that she could remember.
The girl’s emotions were overwhelmed as Snider asked her to recount what allegedly had happened to her in the classroom. Snider asked her to describe the second encounter. She stated she went to Stiles desk to ask a question on an assignment. She said she walked to the side of the desk where Stiles was seated.
She said she proceeded to ask her question and at this time Stiles pushed her toward him by putting his hand on her thigh and pushing her forward. They were then face to face and knees were touching. He then took his hand and pushed forward harshly on her vaginal area in a cupping motion, the girl told Snider. She said Stiles did this through her clothes and there was no skin-to-skin contact.
This lasted just a short time, approximately 10 to 15 seconds in her opinion, and they continued on visiting about the assignment. She says at this time he asked her “if I would give him a kiss.” She told him no, and returned to her seat. She said the touching made her feel “uncomfortable and weird.”
Snider asked if a few days after this incident if she had developed a rash in her “private areas” and that her mother brought the girl some cream to school. The girl answered, “Yes that she (her mother) did bring her some cream.”
The alleged victim said that on the first encounter the same thing had happened but she was not asked for a kiss.
Snider then asked her if other kids in the classroom could see what had happened. She said no because of the way Stiles’ desk was positioned in the corner of the room.
Snider then listed the names of two other witnesses and asked if she knew them or had ever heard of them. The girl answered that she did not know them and never heard of them.
The court-appointed defense attorney, William “Bill” Taylor from Amarillo, then cross-examined the alleged victim. He asked her a few questions about the classroom, such as the position of the desk, and if she could remember anything about the decorations in the classroom.
Taylor asked, “You say you felt it was wrong when Stiles asked for a kiss but why didn’t you say anything about the touching? Why didn’t you tell him to stop?”
The girl responded she didn’t know.
Taylor then asked the girl, “It’s reported in your Bridge (a child advocacy agency in Amarillo) interview thatw your mom had asked you (in second grade) if anyone had touched you inappropriately and you told her no. Why did your mom ask you this?”
The girl replied, “because I had a rash.”
Taylor then asked her if she remembered what she told her interviewer from The Bridge about why she had told.
She answered, “Because my conscience was bothering me.”
Next, the mother of the alleged victim was called to the stand. She was asked by Snider when she found out about the incident and what she did. She said she found out on her daughter’s 12th birthday and that she notified law enforcement.
Texas Ranger Phillip Ditto was then called to the stand. He presented audio evidence about an interview that he had done with Stiles after he was alerted about the case by Texas Department of Public Safety Officer Oscar Esqueda. Ditto was on the stand nearly three hours, as the interview was played for the court and then as he was questioned by the state and the defense.
Following Ditto’s testimony, two young female witnesses were both called to the stand, individually. They both gave similar accounts of abuse by Stiles as the alleged victim in this case did. The dates of these alleged incidents were between 2013 and 2015. Snider made it a point to announce to the court that none of these young girls knew one another or had visited with one another. All were students in Stiles classroom in different years.
The day ended with Borger ISD Superintendent Chance Welch being called to the stand. Welch provided the court with records showing that the three girls had attended BISD and when. Classroom rosters were also provided to the court that listed the girls as students in Stiles’ class. Testimony ended at 5 p.m.