LONGVIEW — A former Longview ISD teacher is back in jail after prosecutors presented evidence he violated terms of his bond by contacting a former student, the alleged victim of sexual assault. According to the Longview News-Journal, Robert Craig Varnell was being held Monday in Gregg County Jail under $1.25 million bond after an earlier $500,000 bond was revoked by 124th District Court Judge Alfonso Charles. A hearing on a defense motion to reduce the increased bond is set for 1:30 Wednesday, with a trial date scheduled Nov. 12. Varnell is awaiting trial on charges of sexual assault of a child and indecency with a child stemming from incidents prosecutors say occurred from August 2007 to May 2011.
Varnell was re-arrested Sept. 14 after a bond revocation hearing in which Gregg County Assistant District Attorney Stacey L. Brownlee presented evidence Varnell had violated the conditions of his bond by contacting the alleged victim through email. According to court documents filed at the time of Varnell’s indictment, a 16-year-old boy told authorities Varnell had inappropriate physical contact with him numerous times from 2007 to 2011. The alleged contact detailed in the court documents first occurred at a computer lab at LeTourneau University, where Varnell was employed, when the boy was 13.
Later incidents allegedly occurred in the victim’s classroom at Foster Middle School, in Dallas, in Austin, at the boy’s residence, and at Holly Lake Ranch.