A judge on Monday sentenced a former substitute teacher to 180 days in the Stanislaus County jail for inappropriately touching two girls in a fifth-grade class he was teaching three years ago at an Oakdale elementary school.
Bryan Thies, 51, of Modesto pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor counts of annoying and molesting a child. Thies entered his plea in late August to avoid a trial. Two counts of felony lewd and lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14 were dropped.
In accordance with his plea agreement, Superior Court Judge Dawna Reeves ordered Thies to register with authorities as a sex offender for the rest of his life. The judge also ordered Thies to stay away from the two victims. The defendant will remain on probation for the next five years.
Reeves scheduled Thies to surrender himself at the jail in January to serve his sentence. In the meantime, Thies can apply to the sheriff’s alternative work program to avoid spending time behind bars. Whether he’s admitted into the alternative program is up to sheriff’s officials.
Deputy District Attorney Blythe Harris prosecuted the case, and defense attorney Mark Girdner represented Thies.
Thies initially was arrested Sept. 23, 2013, after allegations surfaced. Cloverland Elementary School officials on Sept. 4, 2013, reported to Oakdale police that Thies was suspected of inappropriately touching five girls, ages 10 and 11.
Investigators said at the time that the incident had occurred during class on Aug. 29, 2013, when Thies was at the school as a substitute teacher.
Prosecutors initially charged Thies with two counts of felony lewd and lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14, according to a criminal complaint. He also was charged with three misdemeanor counts of annoying and molesting a child.
After an April 2015 preliminary hearing, the court determined there was sufficient evidence to support only the allegations from two of the girls who had reported sexual misconduct.