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A final pretrial hearing, jury selection and opening statements are expected Tuesday in the trial of a former New Boston, Texas, substitute teacher accused of sexual misconduct with several female middle school students.

Dylan Simpson, 22, appeared Monday in a first-floor courtroom of the Bi-State Justice Building before 202nd District Judge John Tidwell with Texarkana lawyers Shorty Barrett and Joe Tyler. The state has filed a motion seeking to include testimony from other alleged victims during the guilt/innocence phase of Simpson's trial.

Dylan Simpson

Simpson is facing three counts of online solicitation of a minor and two counts of indecency with a child by sexual contact involving four girls ages 12, 13 and 14. The other alleged victims from whom First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp and Assistant District Attorney Lauren Richards hope to elicit testimony from were middle school students in 2017 when Simpson worked as a substitute teacher as are the girls named in Simpson's indictment.

Tidwell told the lawyers he would hear arguments on the motion early Tuesday morning at the Bowie County courthouse in New Boston where jury selection is scheduled to begin in the case at 9 a.m. A larger-than-usual panel of prospective jurors has been summoned. A large number of witnesses, pretrial publicity and the case's connection to a local school district create a greater likelihood that a potential juror could have a conflict that would make them unsuitable to serve.

Opening statements and testimony are expected to begin following jury selection Tuesday. Simpson is facing two to 20 years on each of the five criminal counts. He is currently free on bond.

llarowe@texarkanagazette.com

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