Former teacher accused of stalking pleads guilty
IDAHO FALLS — A former Hillcrest High School teacher accused of stalking has been released from jail and awaits sentencing.
Bryan Johnston, 50, was arraigned in District Court Thursday and pleaded guilty to one charge of felony stalking. During his hearing, he took a plea deal and was released on his own recognizance to pre-trial services.
Bonneville County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney John Dewey tells EastIdahoNews.com the prosecution agreed to the recommendation of a pre-sentence investigation that the judge retain jurisdiction in the case, meaning Johnston could be sent on a rider. The agreement is non-binding, which means the court does not have to stick to the prosecution’s recommendations at sentencing.
A rider program consists of six months to one year of treatment in state prison.
Johnston was arrested in September after breaking a civil protection order meant to protect a 26-year-old female victim.
After the protection order was issued, officers informed Johnston he was to stay at least 900 feet away from the victim’s home and other places in her daily routine. Court documents show Johnston was in the same area as the woman or near her home at least nine times.
Johnston is accused of repeatedly stalking the woman between May and July. Court documents show Johnston would appear at certain places that were part of the woman’s daily routine and he attempted to contact her through other people including some former high school students.
In April, the victim reported Johnston’s “alarming” behavior as he had attempted to enter her home during evenings she wasn’t there.
Johnston allegedly urinated on the victim’s mattress when she wasn’t home and placed her underwear in an envelope before leaving them on her boyfriend’s car. The woman also reported that tires on her vehicle were punctured. Court documents also show Johnston had intentions to steal the victim’s cat and made Craig’s list advertisements to get information about cars parked in front of the victim’s home.
Johnston is no longer a teacher at Hillcrest High School as he submitted a letter of resignation in July.
Johnston will be sentenced December 20.