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Teacher's aide sentenced in sexual assault of student | Bell, 24, receives four-year term, plus probation on related counts

by Lynn LaRowe | May 11, 2021 at 6:27 a.m. | Updated May 11, 2021 at 6:29 a.m.

TEXARKANA, Texas - A former teacher's aide sentenced to prison and probation by a jury for sexual misconduct with three male high school students was in court for formal sentencing Monday.

Ashlyn Faye Bell, 24, pleaded guilty in April to two counts of improper relationship between educator and student involving two 17-year-old boys and to two counts of sexual assault of a child involving a 16-year-old boy. A jury tasked with deciding Bell's punishment sentenced her to four years in prison on one count of sexual assault of a child and recommended terms of probation on the remaining three counts.

At a hearing Monday before 202nd District Judge John Tidwell, Bell wore cuffs and shackles and a chain encircled her waist. Tidwell sentenced Bell to ten years probation on the count of sexual assault of a child for which the jury recommended probation and two five-year terms of probation on the two counts of improper relationship between educator and student.

The probated terms and the prison term will run concurrently, Tidwell ordered.

The jury assessed fines totaling $1,000 that Bell will be required to pay as a condition of probation. Tidwell ordered Bell to be supervised on a sex offender caseload once released from prison and she will be required to register as a sex offender.

Bell must update her sex offender registration at regular intervals and report any change in residence or employment to local authorities where she lives and works.

During Bell's punishment-only trial last month, the jury heard testimony that Bell initiated contact with boys she met while working as an aide at Texas High School. Bell arranged to pick the boys up from truck stops and their homes in the middle of the night, often with her 3-year-old daughter in the back seat. She took the boys to her home in New Boston where she had sex with them.

Bell is being held in the Bowie County jail until she can be transported to a unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Bell is represented by Texarkana lawyer Bruce Condit. First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp and Assistant District Attorney Lauren Richards represented the state.

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