MARSHALL, Texas - Former Longview High School chemistry teacher Topher James Stout, 41, has received two life sentences after pleading guilty Wednesday to the aggravated sexual assault of two children.
“The victims’ family and I visited multiple times, and in lieu of the victims having to testify, we all agreed this was the best disposition,” said First Assistant District Attorney Madison Hood, who prosecuted the case.
“We are pleased with the plea and hope that the victims can continue their healing with the criminal side closed,” she said.
Stout was indicted by a Harrison County grand jury in October 2020 on four counts of sexual assault of a child, two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and one count of continuous sex abuse of a child younger than age 14.
According to the indictments, the sexual assaults occurred on July 9, 2020; July 1, 2019; March 1, 2019; and Dec. 1, 2018. The aggravated sexual assaults of a child occurred on Nov. 1, 2018 and June 1, 2020.
The indictments notes the continuous sexual abuse of a child younger than age 14 occurred on or about Jun 1, 2017 through July 16, 2020, during a period that was 30 or more days in duration.
Stout was initially arrested on July 16, 2020 on the Harrison County side of Longview. Longview police were responding around 2:17 a.m. to Stout’s home in the 2500 block of Oasis Drive in reference to a sexual assault of a 12-year-old child, police spokesperson Brandon Thornton said in a statement to the Longview News Journal at the time.
“On July 16, 2020, Longview Police Department officers were dispatched to a domestic disturbance call,” the Harrison County DA’s office noted in a press release Wednesday. “When they arrived on scene, a witness told them they had personally observed the defendant engaging in sexual acts with a child under the age of 14 years.”
“The defendant ran from the home after police were contacted but was later apprehended and arrested for the offense of aggravated sexual assault of a child,” the DA’s office stated.
The victim was then interviewed at the Martin House Children’s Advocacy Center, and a sexual assault nursing (SANE) examination was administered. Through the interview with the victim, authorities learned that the victim had been sexually assaulted by Stout multiple times, officials said.
“The victim stated the offenses happened many, many times over a period of years,” the DA’s office advised. “During additional interviews, at the request of Longview Police Department, the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), and our office, it was discovered that the defendant had sexually assaulted other victims as well.”
Stout was initially booked into the Gregg County Jail and then transferred to Harrison County Jail, where he was ultimately booked for additional charges upon learning of another victim/victims.
“Once LPD detectives made us aware, we worked with them, Harrison County Sheriff’s Office, Gregg County District Attorney’s Office and Longview PD to get a new charge,” Harrison County District Attorney Reid McCain said at the time.
Detective Debra Stiles, who was assigned the case, conducted an investigation that was presented to the Harrison County DA’s office and then to the grand jury.
“These cases are always difficult because you can’t undo the damage that has already been done, but you can seek accountability and justice,” Hood said. “We are thankful these victims will not have to be scared or hurt anymore by Topher Stout.”