Former FCAHS band director to go to trial for child exploitation allegations

By HASKEL BURNS,

The former Forrest County Agricultural High School band director who was arrested for sexual activities with a child will go to trial March 4, 2020.

According to documents from Forrest County Circuit Court, Lindsey Daniels is indicted on three charges: exploitation of a child, sexual battery in a position of authority or trust, and touching of a child for lustful purposes in a position of authority or trust. Daniels is being represented by Hattiesburg attorney Michael Reed.

Daniels was arrested in late March by the Forrest County Sheriff’s Department and charged with child exploitation, but was released the next week by Fourth District Judge Robert Davis because deputies failed to procure a warrant for her arrest.

In her indictment, Daniels is accused of knowingly seducing a minor to meet with her for the purpose of sexually explicit conduct; committing sexual battery upon a minor by engaging in the act of sexual penetration; and handling, rubbing or touching the body of a child under the age of 18. The incidents allegedly happened between January 1 and March 29, while Daniels was employed at FCAHS.

According to Section 97-5-35 of the 2013 Mississippi Code, anyone convicted of child exploitation is guilty of a penalty and will be fined between $50,000 and $500,000, along with imprisonment of between five and 40 years. Subsequent convictions bring a fine of between $100,000 and $1 million, and confinement in the custody of the Department of Corrections for life or such lesser term as the court may determine, but not less than 20 years.

In a statement issued shortly after Daniels was arrested, FCAHS superintendent Donna Boone said Daniels was no longer employed at the school, although it is unclear whether Daniels resigned or was terminated. Boone said the school is fully cooperating with the investigation by the sheriff’s department.