A substitute teacher and coach for Unified School District 428 in Great Bend was arrested at 1:48 p.m. Thursday on a host of charges including aggravated indecent liberties with a child, indecent solicitation of a child, sexual exploitation of a child, electronic solicitation, and contributing to a child’s misconduct, Great Bend Police Chief Steve Haulmark said.
Bryce A. Hofmeister, 27, was arrested at the Great Bend Police Department and transported to the Barton County Detention Center where he was booked.
According to Haulmark, the GBPD received a Crime Stoppers Tip on Tuesday regarding allegations of sexual misconduct and the sale of tobacco products involving a Great Bend sports coach and local teen students. Detectives began investigating the tips and, after conducting interviews, executing search warrants, and collecting digital evidence, investigators learned that multiple sex offenses allegedly occurred in addition to the sale of tobacco products to minors.
Further investigation led to the arrest, Haulmark said. The GBPD was assisted by the school district.
A school district statement
“Earlier today, the Great Bend Police Department arrested a substitute teacher/assistant coach for allegations involving inappropriate conduct with minors. The arrest did not take place on school grounds,” USD 428 Superintendent Khris Thexton said in a statement emailed to district families.
“This individual has worked at GBMS and GBHS but will not return to work in our district. USD 428 will continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement officials but we cannot provide further details on the case at this time,” he said.
“I want to assure you that student safety is our top priority. We work diligently every day to provide our students with a safe environment where they can learn and grow,” Thexton said.
If anyone has concerns about the safety of their student or their learning environment, he asked them to report those immediately to school administrators and/or police. “If you, or any community member, have additional information on this investigation or specific questions for law enforcement, please contact the Great Bend Police Department.
“While this is not the news we like to share, we want to be proactive and transparent in our communication with families,” he said.
This investigation is still ongoing. Anyone with any information in reference to this case is urged to contact the GBPD at 620-793-4120, Crime Stoppers at 620-792-1300 or online at p3tips.com.