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‘Nothing was stopping me’: Former assistant band director sentenced to prison after secretly recording students

Tyler Dan Townsend was sentenced to 30 years in prison for possessing child pornography and secretly taking creepy pictures of minors. (Mugshot: Hays County Jail)

Tyler Dan Townsend was sentenced to 30 years in prison for possessing child pornography and secretly taking creepy pictures of minors. (Mugshot: Hays County Jail)

A former assistant band director at a middle school will spend the next three decades of his life behind bars for possessing child pornography and secretly taking creepy photos of minors.

Tyler Dan Townsend, 33, told the Kyle Police Department in Texas that he did not initially think he was doing anything bad during his web activity, according to the arrest affidavit obtained by the Hays Free Press.

“In the moment, I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong because nothing was stopping me,” Townsend said. “It was just there.”

Authorities reportedly discovered more than 200 illicit images on his two laptops and his phone.

Then there were the pictures he took.

“Several electronic devices were seized from Townsend’s home during the execution of the warrant,” police said. “After reviewing the devices, Kyle Police found that invasive visual recordings of unknowing students were on Townsend’s cell phone. ”

Townsend admitted he had a process by which he took upskirt pictures of girls without their knowledge.

“Tyler advised he downloaded an app on his cellular phone which would black out the screen when using the camera … he would then just kneel down to tie his shoe, set something down, drop his phone or otherwise find a way,” police reportedly wrote.

Townsend, who worked at Dahlstrom Middle School in the city of Buda, took those photos in an array of locations. This included the band hall, private band practice, the track and field area, Hays High School, and the Schlitterbahn waterpark.

He had done some work at the high school, police said.

“Townsend was first employed by Hays CISD at Dahlstrom Middle School on Aug. 17, 2015, after passing the comprehensive finger-print-based criminal background check required of all Hays CISD employees,” they wrote. “Townsend, as assistant band director at Dahlstrom Middle School in Buda, directed the campus symphonic and jazz bands and the percussion program. Townsend also assisted with the Hays High School marching band program when Dahlstrom was a feeder middle school to Hays High School.”

More Law&Crime coverage: Ex-Texas high school band director who allegedly gave minor student expensive gifts and spoke of ‘gay for pay’ now faces felony charges

The Hays Consolidated Independent School District put Townsend on administrative leave on July 27, 2020, after cops told them about the investigation. He resigned four days later.

The fallout from his prolific betrayal of trust culminated in a Hays County courtroom last Tuesday. He pleaded guilty to 10 counts of possession of child pornography and seven counts of invasive visual recording.

Townsend was sentenced on July 25 to 30 years in prison.

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