It’s every parent’s worst fear, their child being abused by a teacher, mentor, or someone they trust. The emotional pain can tear lives apart and leave mental scars beyond imagination. Amarillo Police have arrested a former Travis Middle School teacher for accusations of sex abuse involving one of his former eighth-grade students.

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David Villyard, 47, was arrested Thursday, July 16, on nine counts of sex abuse against a child during the 2015-2016 school year. According to Amarillo Police, in March of 2020, the victim disclosed to two Palo Duro High School teachers that their eighth-grade drama teacher had sexually abused them. The teachers reported the student’s claims.

The next day, the Amarillo Police Department interviewed the victim and disclosed details of the incident which occurred on or around February 19, 2016. The victim knew and identified Villyard as the person who committed the sexual acts. The victim said the abuse took place in a small room near the drama room at Travis Middle School.

Police photos taken at the school show the room and contents match what the victim described.

Sexual assault crimes involving minor children are taken very seriously in Texas. If convicted by a unanimous jury, a first-time offender will face life-altering consequences, including:

• A first-degree felony charge conviction

• A minimum 25-year prison term

• A maximum 99-year (life) prison term