Charges dismissed in two teacher-student sex cases

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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.

Thompson's ruling also dismissed a case against David Solomon, a Falkville High School teacher's aide charged last year with having sex with a 17-year-old female student.

In other words, prosecutors have to prove that Witt "was actually in a position of authority over the victim/student and that the position of authority was abused to obtain consent".

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. It was said by a state judge who also dismissed charges against two instructors who were facing 20 years in prison convicted of having sexual relations with their students. "In finding so, this court does not endeavor to absolve any wrongdoing or to excuse the defendants". Consent is not a defense to the law, al.com reported. "If no such position of authority is alleged, the defendant must be permitted to show consent as a defense".

Witt was a cheerleading coach prior to the charges. The judge who handed the case ruled that "current laws protect vulnerable people such as those who are mentally incapacitated and minors".

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"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. Furthermore, Thompson said that there was no proof Witt used her position of authority to force the two students to have sex.

The judge handling this case stated that the charges against the teacher could not be dismissed despite the victim's lawyer terming the accusations as unconstitutional.

In April of this month, a former 30-year-old female teacher from Alabama pleaded guilty to having sexual intercourse with three high school students. "The state has never said it was other than consensual". Those laws either implicitly address sex between students and employees who exercise power over them, or students and employees at the same school.

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".

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