Brevard County Teacher Charged with Soliciting a Child

January 27, 2023 Criminal Defense, Sex Crimes

The state of Florida has strict laws against engaging in sexual activities with children. A person who has been accused of attempting to lure a child to engage in a sexual act can result in extremely harsh consequences that can last a lifetime.

A Brevard County teacher has recently been arrested after attempting to lure a student for sex. This article will provide the case details, information on the relative statutes, as well as data on teachers in the U.S. who have been arrested for sex crimes against students.

What was the Case?

Brevard County Sheriff’s Office arrested Timothy Liscum, 64, after he attempted to lure one of his high school students to meet up for sex. Liscum was the chorus teacher at Satellite High School in Melbourne, Florida. He had worked for the Brevard County School Board for 30 years and had taken over the previous Satellite High’s chorus teacher who pled guilty to sexually assaulting two students in the 1990s.

According to the report, Liscum had been electronically communicating with one of Satellite High School’s students. The student became worried about the context of their messages and informed another teacher at the school—who then reported the incident to the police.

“Thankfully, the student became concerned about the content of the conversations and told another student, as well as a trusted teacher,” BCSO’s post said. “[The teacher] immediately reported the information to school administrators…[who] contacted the Satellite Beach Police Department who requested assistance with the investigation.”

Once police were made aware of Liscum’s attempt to lure the child, one of their agents took over the student’s messages and continued the conversation with the accused teacher while undercover.

“Liscum, thinking that he was still talking to the child, solicited the student to meet for the purpose of having sexual relations,” the report stated. “Much to his surprise, Liscum was arrested when he arrived at the pre-determined location and was taken into custody.”

 Members of the Sex Offender Registration and Tracking Unit arrested Liscum on Sunday, where he was later booked into the Brevard County Jail. The former teacher has been charged with one count of Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child and one count of Travel to Meet After Use of a Computer to Lure a Child. His bond has been set at $70,000.

The following is a statement from Brevard Sheriff Wayne Ivey after the arrest:

“It is disgusting that monsters like this are out there where they can prey upon our children, but thankfully the student, her friend, and our teacher, in this case all did exactly what should be done to bring this individual to justice. A huge thank you to the teacher for being such a trusted person to the students, the members of the Satellite Beach Police Department for their efforts in the investigation, and of course Agent Stake, for all they did to get this individual behind bars.”

Brevard Sheriff’s Office is requesting anyone with information regarding other potential victims to contact 321-633-8410 or CRIMELINE at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477).

Using of a Computer to Solicit a Child

Florida law prohibits any person from using a computer or other online device to lure in a child for sexual activities. Under Florida Statute section 847.0135, any person who commits or attempts to commit the following is guilty of a third-degree felony:

  • Seduce, solicit, lure, entice or attempt to do any of those things to a child or a person believed to be a child, to engage in any unlawful sexual conduct with said child; or
  • Solicit, lure, entice, or attempt to do any of those things to a parent, legal guardian, or custodian of a child or a person believed to be a child in any unlawful sexual conduct with a child.

In addition, if the alleged offender misrepresents their own age while attempting to solicit or lure a child, it is a second-degree felony.

Under the same Statute is the regulations against traveling to meet a minor in Florida. Any person who travels any distance within Florida, to Florida, or from Florida by any means, and who attempts to do so for the purpose of engaging in unlawful sexual activity with a child or person who is believed to be a child by using a computer or other online internet service to solicit, lure, entice, or attempt to do any of those things to a child or to the parent, guardian, or custodian of a child can be charged with a second-degree felony.

The penalties for a third-degree felony include up to a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison. The penalties for a second-degree felony include up to a $10,000 fine and up to 15 years in prison.

Statistics on Teachers Arrested

A report by Fox News analyzed the data on teachers who have been arrested for sex-related crimes within the United States. Their analysis reviewed local news stories on a weekly basis which featured the arrests of any K-12 teachers for child-sex crimes.

According to the report, there were nearly 270 public educators that were arrested within the first nine months of 2022. The accusations ranged from grooming to raping underage students. From January 1st through September 30th, there were 269 teachers arrested—which equates to one arrest each day.

Included in the 269 arrests were four principals, two assistant principals, 226 teachers, 20 teacher’s aids, and 17 substitute teachers. The majority of the arrests made were against male teachers, making up 80%. At least 74% of the arrests—or 199—involved alleged crimes against students from their school.

The following is a statement Manhattan Institute senior member Christopher Rufo gave to Fox News Digital regarding the analysis results:

“The number of teachers arrested for child sex abuse is just the tip of the iceberg…The best available academic research, published by the Department of Education, suggests that nearly 10% of public school students suffer from physical abuse between kindergarten and twelfth grade. According to that research, the scale of sexual abuse in public schools is nearly 100 times greater than that of the Catholic Church. The question for critics who seek to downplay the extent of public-school sexual abuse is this: How many arrests need to happen before you consider it a problem?”

Additional Consequences for Teachers Arrested for Sex Crimes

It is clear that it is unlawful for any teacher to engage or attempt to engage in sexual activities with a student—or any minor. Getting caught doing so can lead to criminal charges against you. These charges can lead to paying expensive fines and potentially serving time in prison.

In addition, the teacher will likely be fired and lose their ability to teach again. A teacher accused of sex crimes against a child will also be required to register under the Florida Sex Offender Registry. Doing so results in being considered a registered sex offender for the remainder of your life. This can make it nearly impossible to find a career, housing, or stable relationships in the future.

While it is clear that teachers engaging sexually with students is both morally and criminally wrong, that does not mean that every allegation is true. Anyone accused of a sex crime involving a minor should immediately seek out a skilled defense attorney in your area.

Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

If you or someone you know is a teacher who has been accused of a crime, it is imperative that you find an experienced attorney to work with. A Tallahassee defense attorney will review all of the case information and work with you to build a strong defense for your case. When it comes to sex crime allegations against children, the stakes are entirely too high.

Don Pumphrey and his team of attorneys have spent years representing clients across the state of Florida. We promise to stand in your corner and do everything we can to ensure your freedom. To receive a free consultation regarding your case today, contact Pumphrey Law Firm at (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message on our website.

Written by Karissa Key

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