An instructor at Tarleton State University has been charged with rape in an incident that allegedly took place in Mitchell, South Dakota some time between October 2017 and February 2018.

Philip Matthew Loyd, 31, was taken into custody Thursday and was released from the Erath County Jail after posting a $10,000 bond. 

Tarleton spokesperson Cecilia Jacobs said Loyd has been with the university for less than a year. 

“Dr. Loyd is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation in South Dakota,” Jacobs told the E-T.

Police Lt. Don Everson with the Mitchell Police Division said investigators stumbled upon Loyd during a separate investigation.

“During the course of an unrelated investigation, a forensic examination was conducted on a phone belonging to a 15-year-old boy that showed sexually explicit messages with a man who identified himself as ‘Will,’” Everson said. “Detectives learned that ‘Will’ was actually Philip Matthew Loyd and had traveled to Mitchell where sexual activity took place (with the boy).”

After learning that Loyd was living in Texas, detectives in Mitchell contacted the Stephenville Police Department.

“They called and asked us for assistance, then Sgt. Ford and Detective Joiner took (Loyd) into custody once they received the warrant,” Stephenville Police Chief Jason King said. 

According to his Facebook page, which now appears to have been deleted, Loyd is the director of teacher education, certification officer and assistant professor at Tarleton. 

Prior to that he was employed at Southwest Minnesota State University.

Loyd has been charged with fourth-degree rape, a class three felony in South Dakota, punishable by 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.