Former Teacher Sent to Prison After Claiming Sex with Students Was Her Constitutional Right

Law & Crime report…

A former Alabama schoolteacher admitted to having sex with two of her students but argued that she had a constitutional right to do so. Last week, she was sentenced to ten years in state prison.

Carrie Witt, 47, pleaded guilty in late March to what is effectively an abuse of power crime: one count of a “School Employee Engaging in a Sex Act or Deviant Sexual Intercourse with a Student Under 19.”

An additional charge was dismissed by prosecutors as part of the plea agreement that was struck with the defendant on the eve of her trial.

Witt admittedly had sex with two of her students who were over the age of consent in The Yellowhammer State but adamantly maintained that her relationships with both boys were consensual. Under Alabama law, anyone over the age of 16 can consent to sex provided that there are no additional infirmities that might negate such consent.  The law which forbids teacher-student sex stands as an exception to the general rule.

Witt was arrested in 2016 and fought a years-long legal battle over the allegations. In 2017, a Morgan County judge threw out her charges on the basis that the law as applied to the facts in the original indictments against her was unconstitutional due to how it interacts with the age of consent.

“The statute at hand embeds an irrebuttable presumption that any sexual encounter between an employee of any school and any student (without qualification as to class, school, or school system) is conclusively the result of misuse of authority,” Morgan County Circuit Judge Glenn Thompson wrote. “The law takes away the right of the employee to assert a defense that legal consent that was freely and legitimately given – abrogating the student’s capacity to consent.”

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