A judge in the #State Of Alabama has ruled that the Alabama state law that criminalizes school teachers engaging in #sex with students is unconstitutional.
Morgan County Circuit Judge Glenn Thompson dismissed both charges without prejudice on constitutional grounds, saying that the court found the statute "unconstitutional". Both trials had been scheduled for August 21.
In its ruling, the "Court acknowledges that a disparity of power may inherently exist in a teacher/student relationship, but it does not exist between every school employee and every student regardless of where the student is enrolled". "If no such position of authority is alleged, the defendant must be permitted to show consent as a defense".
Morgan County District Attorney Scott Anderson said he "respectfully disagrees with the court's ruling".
Alabama Attorney General is planning to appeal this but it could require changes in the legislature. Thompson said the law is problematic because it doesn't consider whether the school employee and student are in the same class, school or school system. She was suspended from her teaching job in March 2016, but still continues to earn her salary, according to the newspaper.
Officials started investigating when police received information that a teacher was having a sexual relationship with at least one student. Witt was accused of making sexual relations with his two students, aged 17 and 18, respectively.
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Solomon's lawyer, James Mason Jr., could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Now in Alabama it is legal for a teacher to involve in a sexual activity with their students under the age of 19.
"It's nearly absurd the way it's applied", Tuten said at the hearing.
The court noted that the State has an abiding interest in protecting people from being preyed on by someone in authority over them, such as teachers, wardens, clergy members and psychologists. "If that is the case they can not charge (her) with a crime".
Thompson wrote that, in finding the law unconstitutional as applied to the defendants, "this Court does not endeavor to absolve any wrongdoing or to excuse the Defendants. Moreover, the court does not encourage any similarly situated party to engage with impunity in what may very well be criminal behavior". After all, other adults who have consensual sex with teenagers who are 16 or older do not have criminal charges.
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