A former Alabama teacher, who had sex with two students and claimed that it was her constitutional right, has been sentenced to 10 years in a state prison. Carrie Witt, 47, was handed a 10-year sentence on Thursday, but will be serving only a year and a half behind bars.
She will follow it up by another 18 months in a community corrections program. The rest of her sentence will be served on probation. Witt's sentencing puts an end to a long debated controversial case that stretched more than five years.
Besides serving time in jail, Witt will also have to resister herself as a sex offender. Witt was arrested in March 2016 when she was working as a history, psychology and social studies teacher at Decatur High School and allegedly had sex with two male students, ages 17 and 18.
She was charged under a 2010 state law that prohibits a school employee from engaging in a sex act or deviant sexual intercourse with an underage student. She was charged with two counts for having sex with two boys, both under 19 years of age.
However, she at that time said that she was being framed and being prosecuted for a consensual relationship only because she worked at a school. The age of consent in Alabama is 16.
In 2017, a judge dismissed the charges against Witt after her lawyers successfully argued that going by the 2010 state law, that made it a felony for a school employee to have sex with a student under 19 years old, was unconstitutional.
Morgan County Circuit Judge Glenn Thompson said the court found the statute 'unconstitutional' and that there was no proof Witt used her position of authority to force the two students to have sex.
Witt, who also coached girls' golf and junior varsity cheer, would have got a clean cheat after that but thing changed suddenly after the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals later reversed the ruling and sent the case back to the lower court, reinstating the charges against Witt.
Following that, in late March, just hours before she was scheduled to go to trial once again, Witt pleaded guilty to one count of school employee engaging in a sex act with a student.
That changed the entire course of the trial, with Witt now going to serve a jail term. 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.
Interestingly, Witt stayed on the Decatur City Schools payroll for more than two years after being charged on two counts of having sex with two students. She was on paid leave during this time till she quit in 2018.