Prosecutors appeal ruling that calls Alabama teacher-student sex ban unconstitutional

Carrie Cabri Witt (courtesy Decatur Police Department)

DECATUR, Ala. — Prosecutors said they are appealing a judge’s decision from last week that found Alabama’s law banning sex between a teacher and a student is overbroad and unconstitutional.

The Morgan County District Attorney’s Office filed a motion informing the court that it’s appealing the ruling in the case of Carrie Witt, a Decatur High School teacher who was charged with two counts of sexual intercourse with a student under 19 years of age.

Last week, Morgan County Circuit Judge Glenn Thompson dismissed the charges against Witt, in a ruling that found the law was overbroad.

The filing by Morgan County Chief Assistant District Attorney Paul J. Matthews says the judge’s order was in error and it “will be fatal to the prosecution of this charge” if it’s not reversed on appeal.

The court found the law doesn’t allow for the possibility of consensual sex — Alabama law says a person can legally consent to sex when they are 16 — or make any provisions for whether the teacher had the student in her class, or even in her school.

Witt’s attorney, Robert Tuten, said Witt denies the allegations, but also notes the state never alleged there was any coercion or force involved. But under the current law, “consent” is not allowed as a defense.

The appeal will be heard by the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals.