Former Vernon High School wrestling coach Billy Boyce, 64, of Vernon, was convicted by a Wilbarger County jury of Sexual Performance by Child and Indecency with a Child by Sexual Contact on Tuesday afternoon after a two day trial. The jury took only twenty minutes to reach the verdict.
On May 26, 2023, Vernon police responded to a call about a suspicious vehicle behind an abandoned residence in the 1100 block of Harrison Street. When officers arrived at the location, the vehicle attempted to leave the scene. An officer approached the vehicle and saw that Boyce was shirtless and sweating. In the backseat of the vehicle was a 16 year old girl. When asked what he was doing at the scene, Boyce told police that he was “taking care of a little business.” A subsequent search of the vehicle revealed a sex toy, baby oil, and a video camera that contained a video of Boyce involved in sexual activity with the 16 year old girl.
During the punishment phase of the trial, the prosecution called an additional witness who testified that in 2020, when she was 16 years old, Boyce was a teacher at her school. In September of that year, Boyce gave the witness a ride home and then touched her breasts and crotch area before forcing her to perform oral sex on him.
District Judge Cornell Curtis sentenced Boyce to 16 years in prison for sexual performance by child and 10 years in prison for indecency by exposure. 46th DA Staley Heatly thought the sentence was appropriate under the circumstances. “Judge Curtis sent a strong message with this sentence,” stated DA Staley Heatly. “Mr. Boyce was in a position of trust with young people in our community. He abused that trust and took advantage of vulnerable children.”