Former Lake Hamilton principal pleads in student sex case | Arkansas Blog

Former Lake Hamilton principal pleads in student sex case


Lester Curry, former principal of Lake Hamilton Middle School, pleaded guilty today in circuit court in Hot Springs to two counts of sexual indecency with a minor, a former student.

Special Prosecutor Jack McQuary said the negotiated plea came with a five-year sentence on each of two D felonies, to be served concurrently. He's already served 98 days in county jail. He'll have to register as a sex offender and he's under a lifetime no-contact order with the victim and her family.

In the deal, a B felony, for sexual assault by someone in position of trust, was dropped. That stemmed from kissing and buttock touching of the girl during the time he was a principal. A second charge was filed over similar contact after  he retired but before he was initially charged. Then, in December, he made contact with the girl again, the source of the third charge.

The victim was a student at the middle school. Another alleged victim from Curry's time as a coach and teacher in Missouri was prepared to testify in the case, McQuary said. She came forward after news of Curry's arrest.

Curry, then 60, was arrested by the Garland County sheriff's office last June. The charge concerned a 13-year-old student. In December he was charged again with assaulting the same girl after arranging an encounter via Instagram. Another person who saw inappropriate messages on the girl's cellphone spurred the initial investigation. Curry took retirement May 26,  the day after he was first interviewed by investigators.

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