Alabama teacher who 'slept with students' charges dropped

David Thomas Solomon and Carrie Cabri Witt

An Alabama teacher accused of having sex with two students saw charges against her dismissed on the grounds that they're unconstitutional.

Morgan County Circuit Judge Glenn Thompson issued the ruling Thursday that, at least for now, will keep former Decatur High School teacher Carrie Witt and David Solomon, an ex-aide at Falkville High School, from facing charges.

CBS affiliate WHNT reports that Thompson ruled that prosecutors must prove that the teacher used a "position of authority" to "coerce, groom, or otherwise obtain the illegitimate consent of the alleged victims".

Witt's attorney argued the two students Witt is accused of having sex of were not under her direct authority and were older than 16, Alabama's age of consent.

Decatur High School history teacher Carrie Witt, 44, was charged with having sex with a male student who was 17 when the relationship started, and another male student who was 18. In so finding, this court does not endeavor to absolve any wrongdoing or to excuse the Defendants.

Defendants were thus allowed to use consent as their defense if they did not use power to engage in sex with the students. However, it is not confirmed that how the ruling will affect similar cases that have already been prosecuted. The judge said there was no testimony or evidence presented at the hearing where the court heard arguments on the law's constitutionality.

"It is this court's finding that the law grants these students the capacity to consent until and unless there is some showing that authority was used to obtain illegitimate or coerced consent", Thompson wrote. "If that is the case they can not charge (her) with a crime". "The state has never said it was other than consensual".

"The statute at hand embeds an irrebuttable presumption that any sexual encounter between an employee of any school and any student (without qualification as to class, school, or school system) is conclusively the result of misuse of authority", wrote the judge, the station reported.

Officials started investigating when police received information that a teacher was having a sexual relationship with at least one student. Those include laws in Texas, Arkansas and Kansas.

"The court acknowledges that a disparity of power may inherently exist in a teacher/student relationship, but it clearly does not exist between every school employee and student regardless of where the student is enrolled", the judge wrote.



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