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A former Alabama high school teacher accused of having sex with two teen students reportedly pleaded guilty this week — years after she argued she had a constitutional right to sleep with them.
Carrie Cabri Witt, 47, who taught history, psychology and social studies and coached girls’ golf and junior varsity cheer at Decatur High School, was arrested in March 2017 for allegedly having sex with two male students.
One of the students was 17 when the relationship started and the other was 18, according to reports.
Witt appeared in Morgan County Court on Monday, entering a guilty plea to one count of a school employee engaging in a sex act with a student under the age of 19, Decatur Daily reported.
A second count was dismissed by prosecutors.
The ex-teacher’s trial was set to begin Monday, but she entered a “blind plea” without an agreement on a sentence with the district attorney’s office, according to the report.
The sentencing hearing was scheduled for July 1 by Morgan County Circuit Judge Jennifer Howell, who is hearing the case.
Witt must register as a sex offender and could face up to 20 years behind bars for the Class B felony, according to the report.
Back in 2017, now-retired Morgan County Circuit Judge Glenn Thompson ruled that a state law created in 2010 that prohibits school employees from having sex with students under 19 was unconstitutional as it applies to Witt and David Solomon, a former aide at Falkville High, who was accused of having sex with a 17-year-old female student.
Witt insisted at the time that she was only being prosecuted for a consensual relationship — the age of consent in Alabama is 16 — because she worked at a school. She argued that the prosecution violated her 14th Amendment right to privacy and equal protection, according to WHNT.
The state appealed the judge’s ruling a short time later, and the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals reversed it and ordered that the charges be reinstated against Witt, the station reported.
“We’re glad that it’s resolved, that it’s done,” Morgan County Assistant District Attorney Courtney Schellack told Decatur Daily. “This has been a long case, between getting it dismissed by Judge Thompson and going to the Court of Criminal Appeals and bringing it back [to Circuit Court]. It’s been a long process, and we’re just glad it’s done for the community and the victims in the case.”
Witt’s attorneys, Robert Tuten and Nick Heatherly of Huntsville, declined to comment to Decatur Daily.
Witt did not negotiate a sentence, and her “blind plea” allows prosecutors “to argue what we think a proper sentence should be,” District Attorney Scott Anderson told the outlet.
“And in this case, we believe that prison time is more than appropriate,” he said. “We think it’s appropriate not only as punishment for this defendant and her actions, we think it’s appropriate to deter anyone in the future from violating this law.”
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