Stiles found guilty of indecency with 8-year-old, gets 36-year sentence

Myron Stiles
Tim Howsare

Myron Stiles, the former Gateway Elementary School second-grade teacher accused of touching an 8-year-old former female student in a sexual manner, was sentenced on Thursday to two 18-year consecutive sentences in a state prison.
The victim is now 14.
The sentence was handed down after a 12-member jury convicted him on both counts of intentionally and knowingly engaging in sexual contact with a victim who was a child younger than 17 and doing so to gratify his sexual desire. The crimes are a second-degree felonies that carry prison sentences from 2 to 20 years and a maximum fine of $10,000.
Stiles did not receive any fines and he will be given 27 days credit for the time he was held at the Hutchinson County Jail. Stiles has the right to appeal the jury verdict.
Stiles was employed by Borger ISD from Jan. 11, 2013, to March 28, 2017. He was placed on administrative leave on Oct. 21, 2016, and arrested on March 23, 2017. The crimes for which he was convicted occurred in February and March of 2013.
Although it was the jury that convicted Stiles, the sentence was determined by Judge James Mosley of the 316th District Court.
In making his sentencing request to Mosley, District Attorney Mark A. Snider asked for the maximum sentence and that the prison terms run consecutively, which would have totaled 40 years.
Snider described Stiles as a “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” and that touching the victim and two other girls who testified — each stating that Stiles touched them on their vaginas through their clothing while other students were in the classroom — was more sinister and dangerous than if he had tried to get the girls alone to assault them.
“What he did was more deceptive,” Snider said. “He did it in a manner with the child not knowing it.”

Snider also pointed out that in recorded testimony to law enforcement, Stiles himself said that child molesters should “get no second chances.”
Originally, three indictments were handed down against Stiles on May 31, 2017, but only one indictment will be heard. However, testimony by two female students who accused Stiles of touching them in a manner similar to the victim was heard during the trial.
After the verdict, defense attorney William “Bill” Taylor brought in several witnesses to attest to Stiles’ character, including his wife, Ashley Stiles.
At no time during the actual trial did Taylor ask defense witnesses about the defendant’s character.
Ashley Stiles said that she and here husband had been married for five years, but had been together for 15 years.
Though they do not have children as a couple, Ashley Stiles said her husband has five children and 10 grandchildren.
“What kind of a grandfather is Myron?” Taylor asked.
Ashley Stiles said the grandchildren call her husband “Pop Pop” and that he has a “dotting relationship with them.”
Ashley described her husband as “amazing” and “the rock of my life.”
In response to a question from Taylor, Ashley Stiles said her husband was permitted to babysit the grandchildren even after he was indicted in May 2017, although they were usually together as a couple.
Taylor then called Jamie Matlock, a former neighbor of Stiles when he lived in Borger, to the stand. Matlock said she also is the mother of one of Stiles’ former students.
She described Stiles as a good neighbor and teacher, who offered to tutor her son in math.
Matlock said she had not heard of the allegations against Stiles until she read the newspaper on Tuesday.
Then Taylor called Cecilia Avilas to the stand, who testified as a defense witness on Wednesday during the trial. Avilas has a daughter who was a former student of Stiles.
Avilas described Stiles as a “wonderful teacher to my daughter.”
Assistant District Attorney Erin Lands asked Avilas if Stiles’ conviction earlier that day had changed her opinion of him, and she said no.
Taylor then called to the stand another defense witness from Wednesday and mother of a former student, Victoria Scroggins.
Scroggins said Stiles had helped out her daughter a lot, who was sometimes getting into trouble at school.
Asked by Taylor if Stiles had a good character and reputation, she answered yes.
Then Lands asked sharply, “Do you know what the details of the conviction are?”
Scroggins answered no.
Lands then told Scroggins that Stiles had touched three girls on their vaginas.
“Do you respect the jury’s verdict?” Lands asked.
Scroggins said yes.
“Do you think a teacher who touches students on their vaginas should be sentenced?” Lands asked.
Scroggins answered yes.
Lands then asked if it were her daughter who had been touched, along with other girls over several school years, if she would want the perpetrator to get the maximum sentence.
Scroggins answered yes.
In his closing remarks to the judge, Taylor said that Stiles had completed both a bachelor’s and master’s degree and had been continuing his education to get a doctorate. He asked Mosley “to consider the lower end if punishment.”
The proceedings concluded with victim statements from the victim’s mother and one of the girls who testified as a witness that she had been assaulted by Stiles.
“I never understood why you did this,” the girl said.
The victim’s mother said, “You took away the innocence of a little girl.”
Stiles did not look at the victim’s mother or the female witness while they read their statements.