An ex-teacher in Alabama admitted in court on Monday to having sex with two teen students.
Decatur Daily reported that Carrie Witt, 46, pleaded guilty to engaging in a sex act with a student younger than 19. Witt, a Decatur High School teacher, was arrested in March 2016 for having a sexual relationship with a 17- and 18-year-old student.
Witt was on paid leave for more than two years before resigning in August 2018, according to AL.com. She officially stepped down from her teaching position a day before the school board was slated to discuss her employment status.
Witt’s attorneys had argued that the 2010 statute under which their client was being prosecuted is unconstitutional, as individuals without an infirmity can consent to sex if they are at least 16. The ex-teacher claimed the relationships were consensual and argued that prosecuting her violates her 14th Amendment right to privacy and equal protection, according to the Daily Mail.
In response, the state reportedly asserted that the statute protected students from sexual advances by school employees.
In 2017, Morgan County Circuit Judge Glenn Thompson ruled the law was unconstitutional and dismissed the charges against Witt. Prosecutors appealed the decision and, in 2018, an appellate court reversed Thompson’s ruling and sent the case back to circuit court.
Witt entered a blind plea, which does not include guidelines regarding sentencing. District Attorney Scott Anderson told Decatur Daily that Witt’s blind plea means they can argue what sentence they believe should be handed down.
Witt’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 1. She will be required to register as a sex offender.
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[Featured image: Carrie Witt/Decatur Police Department]