- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 16, 2016

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A former Arkansas elementary school teacher convicted of sexually assaulting a student has been approved for parole, the Arkansas Parole Board announced Tuesday.

In a statement, the board said it had approved a parole request from 52-year-old Brian Floss and outlined a list of 14 conditions Floss must meet in order to not violate his parole.

Floss pleaded guilty in 2003 to second-degree sexual assault and was sentenced to 15 years in prison with an additional five-year suspended sentence, according to court and Arkansas Department of Correction records.

Board Chairman John Felts wrote in the release that the board prefers to place offenders like Floss on parole because they can set more restrictions and require continued treatment.

“It is important that offenders, especially those deemed to be a high risk, be subjected to a strict level of parole supervision whenever possible,” he wrote. “It is the Board’s positon that the public is best served by this offender being placed on parole supervision for the duration of his sentence and receiving community-based treatment. Any violations once released will be met with swift and certain sanctions; up to and including revocation.”

Attorney information for Floss was not immediately available Tuesday.

Floss was a teacher at Wallace Elementary School in Fordyce, 70 miles south of Little Rock, when police arrested him on charges that he sexually assaulted a student. In court documents, police said Floss molested the girl, who was 8 or 9 years old, during school hours in his classroom and at least once while other students were present. Authorities did not pursue charges from a second alleged victim as part of Floss’ plea agreement.

Parole Board Administrator Solomon Graves said the victim, who is now an adult, and her mother both wrote letters to the parole board protesting Floss’ release.

The board denied parole requests from Floss seven times since 2005 and deferred two other requests to recommend that he complete a Department of Correction sex offender treatment program and to evaluate his assigned sex offender designation, Graves said. A department evaluation raised Floss’ sex offender status from a Level 2 to a Level 4, which is the highest level assigned.

Graves said the majority of those denials cited reasons including the nature and seriousness of the crime he was convicted of, the age of the victim, his relationship to the victim, the duration of the offense and the multiple occurrences.

As a condition of release, Floss can’t live in Fordyce or Clark County, contact the victim or her family, have physical contact with minors, including a prohibition on dating someone who has a minor child, and must register as a sex offender and meet several other requirements.

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