More children may be involved in allegations against Hartley teacher
By Robin Scott
A 13-year-old girl has made allegations against a Hartley ISD teacher of causing her to engage in inappropriate sexual contact with him. The allegation against Thompson by the young girl lead to an investigation and the subsequent issuance of a warrant for arrest. The warrant issued for the arrest of Ronald Alvin Thompson was executed on Monday, July 6th and Thompson was taken into custody.
Thompson, a teacher and coach for Hartley ISD, has been charged with one count of indecency with a child under the age of 17. Sgt. Phillip Ditto with the Texas Rangers, Company C, out of Dumas requested the warrant, which was granted and signed by Judge Edwyna Womble, Hartley County Justice of the Peace.
The allegations against Thompson stem from an incident that occurred in late April involving the 13-year-old child. Trooper Gabriel Medrano, Media Relations, Texas Department of Public Safety, confirmed on Thursday that the child is a 13-year-old female. A charge of indecency with a child under the age of 17 is defined in Chapter 21.11 of the Texas Penal Code. A person commits indecency with a child younger than 17 years, regardless of the sex of the child, if the person engages in sexual contact with the child or causes the child to engage in sexual contact; or with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, exposes the person’s private areas knowing the child is present. The charge is a second-degree felony. If convicted, Thompson could face the possibility of imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
The incident has spawned some blog comments online. The details of the blogs ranged from insults toward the female victim to disgust toward the criminal suspect. One blogger was adamant that the child was actually an 18-year-old with a history of involvement with married men. When told about the blog comments, Trooper Medrano stated he hadn’t heard about them, but did get online to review the comments made. He also reiterated that the child was in fact 13 years of age.
No information on whether or not Thompson has any prior criminal history is known at this time; however, a search of the National Sex Offender Registry turned up no results for anyone with the full name of the suspect. A search of the Texas Department of Public Safety’s online sex offender registration search also turned up no results for Ronald Thompson, age 56.
As of Thursday, Thompson remains in the Dallam/Hartley County Jail on $150,000 bond. Thompson is described as a white male, age 56, having been born on December 3, 1952. Thompson is a resident of Hartley, which has a population of 417.
A representative with Sgt. Ditto’s office stated on Wednesday that an investigation continues. Trooper Medrano stated that there may be more than one child making allegations and that Sgt. Ditto’s investigation includes looking into the allegations made by other minor children. Depending on the evidence discovered in the ongoing investigation, more charges could be filed against Thompson.