Playbook of a Child Predator: A victim's mother speaks out - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Playbook of a Child Predator: A victim's mother speaks out

Paul Bramlett. Source: Franklin County Jail. Paul Bramlett. Source: Franklin County Jail.

FRANKLIN COUNTY (KLTV) - For years, he was the band director of Winnsboro High School. Now, he's a registered sex offender. Paul Bramlett pleaded guilty to sexual assault of a child in Franklin County on Friday.

The mother of one of the victims says Bramlett used his role as an educator to prey on her child.

"Paul Bramlett is of the character where he is a master manipulator. He had manipulated a community. He betrayed the trust of an entire community," said a victim's mother.

One of the victim's mother, who we're not identifying, says her teenage son trusted and admired his band director, Paul Bramlett.

"Paul Bramlett spent a lot of time trying to make my son feel very special, very unique," she said.

At 15, she says her son was new at Winnsboro High School. She also says the teen was vulnerable following her divorce, and Bramlett preyed on that vulnerability.

"What he did was a crime against humanity and he chose the role as an educator as a way to manipulate himself into the situations where he would have access to them," she said.

That access started at school for lessons from the band director; lessons his mother thought were for a group of students.

"Mr. Bramlett would prompt him to say that there were other students with them that it was not just the two of them," she said.

Who was there wasn't the only lie. His mother and prosecutors say those so-called lessons were happening in a shed at Bramlett's home. But the victim's mother said she had no idea what was happening until Bramlett started calling her warning that she needed to keep her son away from another teen.

"It all seemed very bizarre. It seemed inappropriate. I could not understand why he was working so hard for these guys not to be friends," she said.

Had those calls not been made, she says this next conversation may have never happened.

"My son sat down next to me and just exclaimed that he had been raped and then began to tell the story," she said.

As the story unraveled, prosecutors say a second victim came forward.

Last Friday, in a Franklin County courtroom, Paul Bramlett pleaded guilty to assaulting two boys and attempting to assault a third. With the amount of support Bramlett had, Franklin County District Attorney Martin Braddy says it would have been next to impossible to try his case and win.

"Not only were these kids victimized by Mr. Bramlett, then they were re-victimized by the community members that should have been supporting them instead were vilifying them," said Braddy.

Braddy says Bramlett spent months grooming his victims.

"I think in his mind, the mind of a pedophile, to build that bond of trust they expect it to go two ways," he said. "They expect the child to begin to open up to them and trust them with their secrets and then they expect when they finally assault them then their secret will be kept safe too."

"When you look at your child and you know that something has terrorized them to the degree that my son had felt terrorized, not only through the sexual perversion, but through the daily contact, through the manipulation, said a victim's mother. "My heart bled for my son."

In the courtroom, she says her son was brave enough to read his victim impact statement and face his attacker.

"If he were to have walked away from this completely with a not guilty verdict of some sort, it would have made him extremely dangerous because then he would have been right back to teaching, right back to a community that was so willing to turn their children over to him," said Braddy.

"If someone takes special interest in your child, find out why," said a victim's mother. "If you have that feeling, that subconscious feeling, trust that God puts those there for a reason and don't ignore it."

As part of his plea agreement, Paul Bramlett will serve a month in jail, and he will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Related stories:

Additional charge pending against former band director

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