Discussion over law in teacher-students sex case

Carrie Witt's lawyer says there's a problem with the statute

DECATUR, Ala. - It’s not over for a Decatur High School teacher who had sex charges dropped against her Thursday.

Carrie Witt, 44, walks free after being accused of having sexual relations with two high school students. But although the law says it's illegal for a school employee to do this with students under 19, the age of consent in the state is 16 and the students were over that age.

Witt's lawyer calls it a problem with the statute.

"It doesn't differentiate anything other than 'teacher,' 'student,'” said Robert Tuten. “The facts of the case still cause it to be unconstitutional because there's a consensual act, there was never any allegation of force or coercion."

But some residents say they believe the ruling sets a bad precedent.

"Them dropping it I think looks really bad because it makes it seem like it's acceptable and it's not,” said Sarah Hollingshead. “I think if that's how they're gonna play it then they need to just raise the age of consent."

The judge's court order reads, "The Court does not encourage any similarly situated party to engage with impunity in what may very well be criminal behavior."

The prosecutor couldn’t be reached for comment Friday. He is expected to file an appeal.


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