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Alabama judge declares law criminalizing teacher-student sex unconstitutional

Alabama judge declares law criminalizing teacher-student sex unconstitutional

A judge says Alabama's law barring any school employee from having sex with any student is overbroad and unconstitutional.

Former high school teacher Carrie Witt, 44, had been arrested for allegedly having sex with two students, who were 17 and 18 at the time. The judge further ruled that "the court found that the students were above the #Age Of Consent until investigators conclude that the school's staff used their authority to coerce the students".

The age of consent in Alabama is 16 unless someone uses "position of authority" to "coerce, groom, or otherwise obtain the illegitimate consent of the alleged victims", WHNT reported.

Solomon was sacked by the company he worked for after his March 29, 2016, arrest on one count of a school employee having sex with a student.

"In finding so, this court does not endeavor to absolve any wrongdoing or to excuse the defendants", Judge Thompson wrote. Solomon is a former contract teacher at Falkville High School accused of having sex with a 17-year-old Falkville High student. "Moreover, the court does not encourage any similarly situated party to engage with impunity in what may very well be criminal behavior".

Judges have been asked to dismiss the charges based on unconstitutionality in other cases, but they have declined to do so. And if convicted, an offender would face up to 20 years in prison and be forced to become a registered sex offender.




"The law takes away the right of the employee to assert a defense that legal consent that was freely and legitimately given - abrogating the student's capacity to consent".

Until the ruling goes up for appeal, it will not be binding for other cases in the state.

"The statute at hands embeds an irrebuttable presumption that any sexual encounter between an employee of any school and any student in the state ... is conclusively the result of a misuse of authority".

While other courts can consider the decision in similar cases, Anderson said Thompson's ruling will not directly affect cases in other counties. "Until the appellate courts address the issue, each circuit judge will have to make their own decision on whether it's constitutional or not".

Prior to the sex allegations, Witt taught history, psychology and social studies, as well as coaching the varsity girls' golf team and and junior varsity cheerleading. Those include laws in Texas, Arkansas and Kansas.


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