Former FCAHS teacher faces possible 30 years after pleading guilty to sexual battery

By HASKEL BURNS,

The former Forrest County Agricultural High School band director who was arrested last year for sexual activities with a child is facing a possible 30 years in prison after pleading guilty in Forrest County Circuit Court to one count of sexual battery in a position of trust or authority.

Court records show 29-year-old Lindsey Elizabeth Daniels entered her guilty plea on March 2, and could be sentenced to a maximum of 30 years of incarceration and/or a fine of up to $10,000. She also is required to register on the Mississippi Sex Offender Registry with the Department of Public Safety.

A sentencing date has not yet been set.

In November of last year, Daniels – who is represented by Hattiesburg attorney Michael Reed – was indicted on three charges: exploitation of a child, sexual battery in a position of trust or authority, and touching of a child for lustful purposes in a position of trust or authority. According to court documents, the 12th Circuit District Attorney’s Office has agreed to dismiss the charges of exploitation of a child and touching a child for lustful purposes in a position of trust or authority.

In her original indictment, Daniels was 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 of 2019, while Daniels was employed at FCAHS.

Daniels was arrested in late March 2019 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 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 fully cooperated with the investigation by the sheriff’s department.