Former Lufkin ISD cheerleader coach accepts 10 years deferred for improper relationship

Former Lufkin ISD cheerleader coach accepts 10 years deferred for improper relationship

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A former Lufkin ISD cheerleader coach who had an inappropriate relationship with a student has accepted a plea bargain deal of 10 years of deferred adjudication and 90 days in the county jail.

Mary Ainsley Thigpen, 29, of Lufkin, appeared in Judge Bob Inselmann's 217 Judicial District Court for a hearing Wednesday. As part of the plea deal, Thigpen pleaded guilty to a second-degree felony improper relationship between an educator and student charge.

She will serve 90 days in the county jail and then be on deferred adjudication for 10 years. While she is on deferred adjudication, she will have to deal with strict conditions similar to someone who has been sentenced to probation.

According to the affidavit, Thigpen began text messaging an 18-year-old male student during the 2015-2016 school year. The student told Lufkin ISD police that the texting was graphic and sexual in nature. He said at one point, Thigpen's husband became aware of the text messaging, so the two switched to GroupMe and Snapchat to communicate, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit states the two met at the Crown Colony Golf Course in March, where Thigpen gave oral sex to the student.

The entire incident came to light when two teachers at Lufkin High School told staff of an inappropriate amount of text messaging between the two. The teachers said they talked to another student, who confirmed the 18-year-old admitted to her that there was a sexual relationship between the two.

During the investigation, the officer said he took a statement from a former student from the 2009-2010 school year, who said he had a prior sexual relationship with Thigpen while he was at Lufkin High School.

The affidavit says the 2009 incident is outside the statute of limitations but is confirming evidence for the new incident.

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