William Shawn Harris.
An affidavit for the arrest of a San Marcos High School (SMHS) teacher said he told his alleged victim in a sexual relationship that he was an “idiot” for allowing the incidents to happen, that he “broke down under the pressure of you” and was “so sorry” the incidents occurred.
William Shawn Harris, 34, remains in Hays County Jail on bonds totaling $120,000 for six counts of improper relationship between teacher and student. Harris was arrested on March 19 for six instances of sexual intercourse with an 18-year-old senior at San Marcos High School. The bond for each count is set at $20,000.
Harris, an assistant coach in volleyball and girls’ basketball at SMHS, was placed on suspension with pay on Feb. 24, when the school district began its investigation, said San Marcos CISD spokesperson Iris Campbell. The charges were filed and Harris was arrested by the San Marcos Police Department (SMPD) on March 19.
Campbell said employees under investigation are put “on suspension with pay when the investigation is ongoing, whether it is the district’s investigation or the investigation is outside the district.” Campbell said the suspension with pay continues until there is a conviction, an acquittal or some other kind of decision.
An “outcry witness” told SMPD Officer Brad Follis that the SMHS senior told her of several instances of sexual intercourse with Harris starting last fall and continuing into this year. Four of the instances took place at SMHS — twice in Harris’s classroom and once in each of two bathrooms in the SMHS coaches’ offices. The affidavits given by Follis also said the student told him she had sex with Harris once at his home and once in her car as it was parked in a cul de sac.
The affidavits said that the female student “ended the relationship with Coach William Shawn Harris.”
According to the Texas Penal Code (Section 21.12), which codifies improper relationship between educator and student, “An employee of a public or private primary or secondary school commits an offense if the employee engages in sexual contact, sexual intercourse, or deviate sexual intercourse with a person who is enrolled in a public or private primary or secondary school at which the employee works and who is not the employee’s spouse.”
Improper relationship between educator and student is a second degree felony. Each count is punishable by imprisonment between two and 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000
Follis said in the affidavits that he interviewed Harris at the SMPD offices on video in the presence of the defendant’s attorney, Victorea Brown. Harris denied all the allegations.
This is Harris’s first year at SMHS. It’s his fifth year in the school district. He worked for the previous four years at Miller Middle School, former Miller Junior High School.
SMPD Commander Chase Stapp said he couldn’t discuss details of the case, but that an “outcry witness” would generally be a friend of the alleged victim or a trusted authority figure who takes the matter to the police.
On March 1, SMPD interviewed the outcry witness on video. Thus, according to the affidavits, SMPD obtained “a very detailed account” of the relationship between Harris and the high school student. According to the affidavits, the “outcry witness alleged that the female student had told her in explicit detail, over the course of several discussions, that she had engaged in a sexual relationship with Coach William Shawn Harris.”
On March 18, the day before SMPD arrested Harris, SMPD interviewed the alleged victim on video. During the interview, the female student confirmed the story told by the outcry witness, providing details about the number of instances and the locations.
“The female student became extremely emotional during the interview,” said the affidavits, “and expressed fear that Coach William Shawn Harris would lost his job, family, etc., as a result of her telling the truth about the situation.”
While the high school student was at the police department, said the affidavit, she made a call to Harris’s cell phone in the presence of two SMPD officers, including Follis. The call was recorded, as allowed in Texas when one party consents. A review of the recording, according the affidavits, revealed that Harris told the student that he was an “idiot” who “broke down under the pressure of you” and was “so sorry” when she asked why he took part in the incidents.Email | Print