Former Mineola teacher released on bond - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Former Mineola teacher released on bond

New Mug shot as of 3/4/11--Jo Ann Stephens. Photo Source: Wood County Jail. New Mug shot as of 3/4/11--Jo Ann Stephens. Photo Source: Wood County Jail.
Photo Source: The Wood County Democrat Photo Source: The Wood County Democrat
Photo Source: The Wood County Democrat Photo Source: The Wood County Democrat
Photo Source: The Wood County Democrat Photo Source: The Wood County Democrat

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

MINEOLA, TX (KLTV) – Jo Ann Stephens, a former teacher accused of having a 3-year relationship with a high school student in Mineola, turned herself in on Friday afternoon.

About an hour and a half later, she was out on $100,000 bond.

Thirty minutes after Jo Ann Stephens was booked into the Wood County Jail, she bonded out.

Authorities say she was hiding out for two days before surrendering. But her attorney, Dan Wyde says that's a half truth, "Miss Stephens had made arrangements to stay with a friend in the Mineola area."

Wyde says Stephens should have never had to post such a high bond. He says she isn't a flight risk, "So I don't really understand why Miss Box feels that she needs to embarrass and humiliate Mrs. Stephens and her family and her children with a perp walk."

Wyde says the indictments would have never been passed up if the lead investigator, Captain Joyce Box, did not threaten witnesses.

"She threatened every one of them with perjury. She went to each one of them that she could find. I would say at least 12 or 24, and she said ‘If you don't tell me, that the complainant told you that this happened. Then, I'm going to have you hauled in front of the grand jury, and if you deny it in front of the grand jury, then I'm going to have indicted for perjury.'"

Box says that's not true. She says she told the witnesses to "tell the truth" or they would be charged with perjury.

Wyde also challenges the State's evidence—DNA that suggests Stephens had a sexual relationship and witness statements.

One witness says they saw Stephens and the alleged victim parked in his truck at an RV park.

"If somebody did accurately say that she got in this young man's truck, does that mean that they actually had intercourse? Could the young man not have given her a ride," questioned Wyde.

Stephens didn't want to be seen on Friday, but she has to show her face in court in a week.

Bond reduction hearing for Stephens is set for a week from Friday. She will be arraigned on March 28.

Stephens has been informally arraigned by a judge, and released on bond on the following charges:

  • Online Solicitation of Minor- $25,000 bond
  • Improper Relationship between Educator/Student- $25,000 bond
  • 2 counts of Sexual Assault of Child- $25,000 each

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