There is a societal stigma associated with any arrest. However, those associated with sex crimes are much more difficult to overcome.
Once a person is accused of rape or possession of child pornography, it becomes very difficult to lead a normal life and interact with others in the community, even when one is never actually convicted of a crime.
According to a recent news article from the Daily Mail, a high school teacher in Tuscaloosa was recently arrested for having sexual conduct with a student. His arrest occurred after photos were posted online depicting suspect and a recently-graduated female student, according to authorities.
These pictures allegedly showed a graphic depiction of suspect and the underage student in a sexual relationship. It is believed complaining witness was a student at the time these pictures were taken, which was more than one year ago.
When police obtained a warrant for the search and seizure of evidence from suspect’s home and for the arrest of the suspect, they notified him, and he turned himself in without incident. During the search of suspect’s home, authorities say they discovered more evidence on his various electronic devices that confirmed he had sex with one of his students.
After suspect was arrested, he was charged with having sex with a student and held on $20,000 bond. He has since resigned from his teaching position at the high school, and school administrators said they take the matter very seriously whenever a complaint of inappropriate conduct is made to them.
It was actually the school administration that first made local police aware of the alleged sexual relationship. Authorities say the school board was anonymously sent a link to an online photo album consisting of more than 700 photos, many of which were allegedly evidence suspect was having sex with one of his students. The school officials are mandated reporters and notified the police immediately. As our Birmingham criminal defense attorneys can explain, a mandated reporter, such as a teacher, doctor or mental health worker, has no choice but to notify police when they have reason to believe a child has been abused.
It should be noted, in Alabama, this specific charge involves having sexual relations with a student by a teacher, as opposed to the standard rape or statutory rape allegations with which most people are familiar. The actual charge is called engaging in sex acts or deviant intercourse with a student under 19.
This social studies teacher, who was also the school’s football coach, was very popular with many of his students, as demonstrated by various comments and social media posts made by other students prior to his arrest. It is important to note that he is presumed innocent unless and until he is found guilty in a court of law, as these are merely accusations of criminal conduct.
It should also be noted that if a photographed victim was under the age of 18 at the time the photographs were taken, and those photographs are determined to be pornographic in nature, the suspect could also be charged with a state or federal crime of manufacturing child pornography, which carries a life sentence and a minimum sentence of 15 years before parole is possible.