Former Snook ISD teacher's aide has been sentenced to prison

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SNOOK, Tex. (KBTX) -- A former teacher's aide at Snook High School was found guilty of sexually assaulting students. Lara was sentenced to 10 years for each count to be served concurrently. Lara is eligible for parole in five years.

Deanna Lara was found guilty Wednesday on eight counts – three counts of sexual assault and five counts of improper relationship between teacher and student. The jury handed down the verdict just after 2 p.m. at the Burleson County Courthouse.

During the closing arguments, the prosecution said Lara handpicked each student and manipulated them by giving them gifts in the form of money, food, and clothing so they wouldn't tell parents or other teachers.

The jury who decided Lara's punishment started their deliberations on Thursday at 3:45 p.m.

Lara was arrested in December 2015 for improper relationship with a student. The victims say the relations began back in October of that year.

She was later indicted on seven charges of improper relationship with a student and three charges of sexual assault of a child. Burleson County later abandoned two of those initial charges.

The indictment lists alleged incidents of sexual contact with four students, some under the age of 17, including sexual intercourse.

Lara resigned her position with Snook ISD after the initial allegations in December 2015. She is prohibited from returning.