• Dennis McCaslin

Former Bixby teacher given five-year sentence for filming upskirt video of high school student


Jason Scott Byrd

A former Bixby High School teacher who was caught using his cell phone to illegally record underneath a female student’s skirt and later admitted to doing the same to multiple other unidentified students was sentenced Thursday in federal court, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.


U.S. District Judge Gregory K. Frizzell sentenced Jason Scott Byrd, 46, of Jenks, to 60 months in federal prison followed by 15 years of supervised release. Byrd was also ordered to pay restitution to the victim and a $5,000 special assessment that will go to a victim assistance fund for child pornography and human trafficking victims.


A fellow student saw Byrd filming the female student and immediately reported the crime.


The identified victim addressed both the Court and the defendant, describing the heavy mental toll the events had taken on her. She said that Byrd “did not have to physically touch me to hurt me… I was raised my entire life thinking school was a safe place where I could grow and prosper. He took away my love for school and my trust for people of higher authority.”


In addition to grappling with the betrayal of trust, she stated that she also had to deal with hurtful comments and speculation on social media shortly after Byrd was arrested. The victim said she felt very alone.


“Jason Byrd’s despicable crimes violated the trust of the Bixby community and the students he served,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “Two young people are to be commended for their roles in helping to bring this defendant to justice- the young man who saw and reported the crime and the identified victim who bravely spoke at today’s sentencing. I am proud of their courage. They, along with law enforcement and federal prosecutor Chris Nassar, stopped Byrd from continuing his predatory acts against countless students at Bixby High.”


In August, Byrd pleaded guilty to attempted receipt of child pornography; video voyeurism in Indian Country; and obstruction of justice by corruptly destroying records, documents, or other objects.


On Aug. 25, 2020, Byrd was observed walking closely behind the victim holding his iPhone underneath the victim’s skirt for several seconds. The witness noticed the red recording square and timer on the screen, indicating the phone was actively recording.


The video was taken in a stairwell as students were returning to class after a fire drill. The witness reported the incident to two Bixby Police Department school resource officers. The victim was unaware she was being recorded.


Following the reported incident, Byrd was brought to a school office and held until law enforcement could question him, but he was briefly left unattended with his phone. Byrd admitted that when he saw law enforcement, he began deleting photographs and video, making them unrecoverable.


When questioned, Byrd initially denied the allegations but then indicated he was sorry and that he had a problem. He admitted to taking the video of the victim, as well as taking several similar photos or videos of other students over the past year. He said those photos and videos were taken using the same cell phone.


In a plea agreement, Byrd admitted that between Aug. 1, 2019, and Aug. 25, 2020, he intentionally attempted to use a camera to record and receive images of the victim and other students’ pubic areas. He further admitted that he captured those private images without their consent and under circumstances in which the individuals had a reasonable expectation of privacy.


He further stated that on Aug. 25, 2020, he knowingly destroyed evidence on his phone so it would be unusable in a trial.


The crimes occurred within the boundaries of the Muscogee Nation reservation. Bryd, a Cherokee Nation citizen, started teaching at Bixby High School in 2008.


The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Lighthorse Police Department, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and Bixby Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Nassar prosecuted the case.


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