A Shelby County sex crimes conviction has netted a former teacher – the son of a prominent local politician – 17 years in prison, after pleading guilty to a slew of crimes involving molestation of children.
Shelby County sex crimes defense attorneys know that according to Alabama Statute 13A-6-82, it's considered a Class A misdemeanor for a teacher to have sexual contact with a student under the age of 19 years-old. Sexual contact is defined as any touching of an intimate or sexual nature. In these cases, it doesn't even matter whether a student consented or not, though an experienced Shelby County sex crimes defense attorney will certainly push for a judge to take that into consideration if that's the case.
However, the law that applied in this case was Alabama Statute 13A-6-69.1.Basically, a person can be prosecuted for any sexual contact with a child under the age of 12 if he or she is over the age of 16 (different laws apply for younger offenders). In this case, it's considered a Class B felony, which means it's the second-most serious class of crime on the books. For each charge, a person will face between 2 and 20 years in prison. If there is a gun or other weapon involved, it's a minimum 10 years. There can also be fines of up to $10,000 affixed to these crimes.
In this case, the 49-year-old teacher was handed a 17-year sentence, with no possibility of parole during that time. He faced up to 122 years in prison – which he received, but the judge allowed that sentences for each charge to run concurrently.
According to WBRC Fox, the defendant will also have to serve 10 years of electronically-monitored time upon his release and must register as a sex offender.
Alabama sex crimes defense attorneys know how devastating charges like this can be, especially when you know the allegations are exaggerated or outright false. Even when there may be some truth to the allegations, it's important to hire an experienced Shelby County sex crimes defense attorney who is well-versed in the law and knows how to secure the best possible outcome for your unique situation.
In this case, the defendant reportedly confessed to police to touching some 20 students during his time as a fourth-grade teacher. He was indicted on eight counts of child sexual abuse – six counts of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12 and two counts of first-degree sexual abuse.
The defendant had reportedly been teaching elementary school students for some 25 years. Allegations first surfaced regarding his inappropriate touching of students back in 1991. The community fiercely rallied around him – with fellow teachers, parents, principals and religious figures speaking out on his behalf. The charges were ultimately dropped.
Now retired, the former elementary school teacher is currently in the custody of the correctional system.
If you are facing accusations of sex crimes in Shelby County or Birmingham, contact Criminal Defense Attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.