In recent years, we have been hearing more reports of teachers having sex with underage students than we have in years past. It is not clear whether there are actually more instances of this conduct occurring, or if the police and media are becoming more interested in making arrests and reporting the events.
According to a recent news article from AL.com, a teacher in Ohatchee was just arrested for sexual abuse and having sex with a student. Authorities are alleging defendant, a 32-year-old teacher, touched one of his high school students in an inappropriate manner. As part of their investigation, they arrested defendant on three counts of sexual abuse and one count of sex with a student. Immediately following their initial interviews, police contacted the school board through their student safety director and the district attorney's office to notify them of their recent arrest. Defendant, who recently resigned his position, had been working at this particular school for six years as an English teacher. He had been working at another school in Shelby County prior to taking the job at Ohatchee.
Defendant is currently being held in county jail while awaiting trial on a bond of $76,000. It appears defendant was well respected by students and staff alike, as he has been a three-time finalist for the Alabama Teacher's Hall of Fame. It is important to note, defendant has not been convicted of any crime in connection with this case and is presumed innocent unless and until he is found guilty in a court of law.
As our Birmingham sex crime defense attorneys can explain, any time someone is charged with such an offense, there is often a harsh and almost immediate reaction by people the defendant knows and, in some cases, the community at large, if there is any public attention paid to the charges. This is because there is a great stigma associated with these charges, as rape and other forms of sexual abuse is considered one of the more serious criminal offenses in the state of Alabama. In some cases, there is even more negative feeling associated with a rape case than there is with a murder case. This is especially true of cases involving alleged victims who are minors at the time of the incident.
If you have been charged with sexual abuse, it is important to speak with an attorney who not only has experience in these types of cases, but an attorney who will take the time to fully listen to your side of the story, and who is willing to fight for your rights and freedom in court. The last thing you want is an attorney who is unwilling to listen to what have you say and keeps pressuring you into taking a plea rather than investigating the elements and preparing an effective defense.
Unfortunately, there are many attorneys who are uncomfortable dealing with sexual abuse charges and do not adequately defend these cases. You should speak with your attorney during your initial consultation, and make sure this is someone with whom you feel comfortable handling your serious case.
Resigned Ohatchee teacher arrested for sexual abuse, sex with student, May 17, 2015, AL.com