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story.lead_photo.caption Ashlyn Bell

TEXARKANA, Texas — A former Texarkana Independent School District teacher's aide accused of sexual misconduct with three male high school students in 2019 is scheduled for a jury trial next month.

Ashlyn Faye Bell, 24, appeared Monday morning with Texarkana lawyer Bruce Condit for a brief pretrial hearing before 202nd District Judge John Tidwell. Tidwell noted that he has about five cases pending in his court that involve allegations of sexual misconduct by educators and Bell's is the first of them expected to go to trial.

Jury selection in the case is set for April 26 at the Bowie County courthouse in New Boston.

Next week the court will conduct a hearing to address pending pretrial motions including a defense motion to suppress a statement Bell gave prior to her arrest. The state has filed a notice in the case that it intends to consolidate the charges against Bell and have a single jury decide whether she is guilty of any of them.

Bell is currently under two separate indictments for improper relationship between educator and student with two different 17-year-old boys for conduct which allegedly occurred in the fall of 2019. A third indictment lists two counts of sexual assault of a child involving a 16-year-old boy she allegedly molested in the same time period.

Bell was employed from Aug. 5, 2019, to May 22 as an instructional aide, according to a previous interview with a school district official.

The case was originally brought to the attention of Texarkana, Texas, police by a teacher at Texas High School who reported a conversation she overheard among a group of male students. When the teacher confronted the 17-year-old student, he allegedly informed the teacher that Bell had already "told him he was not the daddy."

Because the alleged sexual encounters between Bell and the three students occurred at her residence in New Boston, Texas, that city's police department conducted the investigation. All of the students reported communicating with Bell on the social media app SnapChat.

Each of the four charges facing Bell are punishable by two to 20 years in prison. Bell is currently free on bonds totaling $150,000.

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