DECATUR, AL — Arrested in the spring of 2016 for allegedly having sex with two students, Decatur High School teacher Carrie Witt, 44, finally had her charges thrown out on Thursday.
Morgan County Judge Glenn Thompson dismissed the charges for several reasons, deeming them unconstitutional.
Even though the students were over Alabama's age of consent at the time (16 years old or older), the law stipulates a person aged 16 to 19 can still be illegal if the person who's older is in a position of authority who also coerces or grooms the victim.
Since the law does not specifically decree teacher-student relationships to be nonconsensual, the judge believed there was no valid argument for consent to be illegitimate by merely the teacher having a position of authority over the students — there must have been grooming or coercion to grant criminal charges according to Alabama law. The judge also brought up the fact that the students were never in any of Witt's classes.
An important note is the charges were dismissed without prejudice, meaning state prosecutors could show how grooming took place in an attempt for the charges to stick on constitutional grounds.
The judge further explained how prosecutors must prove the teacher held a "position of authority over the students and that the position of authority was abused to obtain consent."