Former Kennedale mayor gets deferred disposition in case involving sixth-graders

Posted Wednesday, Jul. 10, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Former Kennedale Mayor Bryan Lankhorst is on probation through July 27 after pleading no-contest to a class C misdemeanor charge of assault by contact stemming from an incident last year at an Arlington elementary school.

Lankhorst was working as a substitute teacher May 17, 2012, at Miller Elementary when four sixth-grade girls accused him of touching them in ways that made them feel uncomfortable and of talking about teen pregnancy.

Lankhorst, who had just been re-elected to his fourth term, stepped down as mayor two days later.

Police cited him on four counts of assault by contact, also known as offensive or provocative contact, and he later pleaded not guilty. A jury trial had been set for Tuesday in Arlington Municipal Court.

But after making a deal with city prosecutors on June 27, Lankhorst entered a no-contest plea to one count and was placed on deferred-disposition probation. He was also ordered to pay $300, said Assistant City Attorney Tiffany Bull.

If Lankhorst completes probation without incident, the case will not go on his criminal record.

“There wasn’t much of a case,” his attorney, Mark Daniel of Fort Worth, said Wednesday. “In fact, there was no case. Bryan didn’t do anything, and he didn’t say anything. This was a favorable resolution for all parties involved.”

In exchange for the plea, the city prosecutor’s office dismissed the other three counts. The deal kept the juvenile accusers from having to testify in court about the incident, Bull said.

The alleged victims had told the acting principal at Miller on May 17, 2012, that Lankhorst, a real estate agent who has grandchildren, rubbed their backs and shoulders and then moved his hand lower.

Under the city charter, Mayor Pro Tem John Clark was elevated to mayor. His term expires in 2014.

Patrick M. Walker, 682-232-4674 Twitter: @patrickmwalker1

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