Ex parte Clinton David Beck (original by judge alcala)Annotate this Case
In this case, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals considered whether a person convicted of a criminal offense could present a facial challenge to the constitutionality of a statute for the first time in an application for a post-conviction writ of habeas corpus under circumstances in which the statute at issue had never been judicially declared by any court with binding authority to be facially unconstitutional. In 2010, appellant Clinton Beck was working as a middle school teacher. Appellant formed a close relationship with one of his students, Danielle, who was in eighth grade and thirteen or fourteen years old at the time. Despite a school policy against texting between teachers and students, appellant began sending text messages to Danielle. At one point, Danielle’s mother became concerned about the frequency of the text messages between appellant and her daughter. Danielle’s mother found text conversations between appellant and Danielle pertaining to sexual topics. Danielle’s mother called the police to report appellant’s behavior, and she also brought the matter to the attention of the school principal. Appellant was arrested and charged with the offenses of online solicitation of a minor and engaging in an improper relationship with a student. The Court of Criminal Appeals agreed with the court of appeals’ conclusion that appellant could not bring, in the first instance, his facial constitutional challenge to the statute in his post-conviction habeas proceedings because it was not preserved at trial. The Court therefore affirmed the court of appeals’ judgment upholding the trial court’s denial of post-conviction habeas relief.