Alabama husband & wife arrested for separate sexual incidents with students

© Reuters
A married couple were each arrested within two days of one another, both for having sex with two separate students at Pickens Academy High School in Alabama.

James Parker, 32, was arrested Wednesday for allegedly being “sexually involved” with a former student, a female, under the age of 19.

Parker’s wife, Charli was arrested Monday for having a sexual relationship with a male student.

On Tuesday, the 30-year-old woman was charged with 11 counts of engaging in a sexual act with a student under the age of 19, court documents said the relationship lasted from October 2014 to March 2016, the Birmingham News reported.

James and Charli Parker were both teachers and basketball coaches at the private Christian school in Carrollton, but District Attorney Chris McCool said the incidents are not related:

The incidents are separate and unrelated in place of manner of commission. None of the criminal sexual activity occurred at the school,” he said.

Headmaster of Pickens Academy released a statement following the second arrest and asked for “prayers”:

The primary concern of Pickens Academy is the safety of our students. Pickens Academy is very upset about the allegations against our employee. The employee will be suspended immediately and further action may be taken upon investigation. I request prayers for our school family and for all families involved.

The arrests come one week after a bill was proposed that would require Alabama teachers to undergo one hour of training per year on ‒ among other things ‒ sexual or romantic contact in the classroom.

The Alabama State Department of Education said there have been nearly 200 investigations into inappropriate interactions between teachers and students since 2011 in Alabama alone.

The former chief of staff at the US Department of Education, Terry Abbott, called Alabama “ground zero” for the problem, saying the situation is an “epidemic”:

Too many districts in Alabama and elsewhere have no policy prohibiting secret electronic communication between teachers and students. That’s a highway to hell”, said Abbott, according to wbrc.com.

An investigation is ongoing. If convicted the Parkers face up to 20 years in prison.