A former teacher at a private Christian school in Alabama accused of having sex with two underage male students -- including once at a cemetery -- was sentenced to three years in prison Monday after pleading guilty to one charge.
Under the agreement, Charli Jones Parker, 31, was sentenced to 12 years in prison, though she'll only have to serve three years, followed by five years of probation. Parker must also follow the state’s sex offender law and cannot have contact with the victim.
She was arrested in March and indicted on 13 counts of a school employee having sex with a student under the age of 19. The constitutionality of the state’s teacher-student sex law is currently under appeal.
Although the student’s name was redacted from official documents, authorities previously said her victim was male.
“There needs to be a definitive line drawn in the sand that makes a statement to the public that this behavior will not be tolerated,” Chief Assistant Pickens County District Attorney Andy Hamlin told WBRC.
Parker, who was the head coach for the girls’ basketball team and taught physical education at Pickens Academy, had sex 11 times with one of the students between October 2014 and March 2016 – including at her home and in a cemetery.
Not long after Parker’s arrest, her husband Jamie, who also taught at the school and was the boys’ basketball coach, was charged with having sex with a female student.
“Nobody wants to have to see their kids going through something like that. I’ve tried three or four of those cases in the last year and it’s hard on the kids and it’s hard on the parents,” said Hamlin.
Parker has been ordered to begin serving her sentence on Sept. 11. Her husband’s case is set for trial on Nov. 27.