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A former Alabama high school teacher who once claimed it was her constitutional right to have sex with two of her students has been sentenced to 10 years in state prison.
Carrie Cabri Witt, 47, will get to serve most of her sentence on probation, after spending 18 months behind bars and another 18 months in a community corrections program, local outlet WAAY reported.
Her sentencing on Thursday seemed to put an end to a controversial case that stretched back five years.
Witt was a history, psychology and social studies teacher at Decatur High School in March 2016 when she was arrested for having sex with two male students, ages 17 and 18.
She was charged under a 2010 state law with two counts of a school employee engaging in a sex act or deviant sexual intercourse with a student under the age of 19.
But Witt insisted that she was being prosecuted for a consensual relationship only because she worked at a school — as the age of consent in Alabama is 16.
Her attorneys argued that the state’s teacher-student sex law violated their client’s 14th Amendment rights to privacy and equal protection.
A now-retired Morgan County Circuit Court judge in 2017 agreed that the law was unconstitutional and dismissed Witt’s case.
However, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals later reversed the ruling and sent the case back to the lower court, reinstating the charges against Witt.
She pleaded guilty in March to one count of a school employee engaging in a sex act with a student under the age of 19. Prosecutors dismissed the second count.
Witt’s trial had been set to begin shortly before she entered into the “blind plea” with prosecutors. The deal came without an agreement on a sentence from the district attorney’s office. She had faced up to 20 years in prison.
Witt, who also coached girls’ golf and junior varsity cheer, stayed on the Decatur City Schools payroll for more than two years on paid leave before she quit in 2018, AL.com reported.
As part of her sentences, she will be required to register as a sex offender.
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