A former Alabama teacher jailed for having relationships with two teens is appealing her conviction because she argues it is unconstitutional to prohibit sex with students.
Charli Jones Parker, 31, was jailed in August for having sex with two 16-year-old male students while she was teaching at Pickens Academy private Christian school in Carrolton.
She was sentenced to 12 years in prison but is only serving three, followed by five years probation, as part of her guilty plea.
Lawyers for the mother-of-one are now appealing her conviction after an Alabama judge dismissed charges last year against a teacher in an unrelated case, saying that a state law criminalizing teacher-student sex was unconstitutional, reports the Tuscaloosa News.
The state appealed the Morgan County Circuit Court judge’s ruling in that case, but a decision has not yet been heard.
Parker’s lawyers are arguing that the law violates the equal protection clause because it treats teachers differently to other professions, the Tuscaloosa News reports.
They added that the law criminalizes what Parker describes as private consensual sexual relationships.
The age of consent in Alabama is 16.
‘Alabama law does not make it a crime for members of other occupations to have consensual sex with 16-, 17- and 18-year-olds, even when there is a position of trust or authority,’ her lawyer Virginia Buck said.
‘School employees have been unfairly singled out and are being sent to prison for something that, at most, might cost people their job or their license in any other profession.
‘Certainly, anyone who has sexual contact with someone without their consent, or who is under the age of consent, should be criminally punished.
‘But to send someone to prison for a consensual sexual relationship with someone over the age of consent solely because they are a school employee treats school employees differently than everyone else.’
Parker, who was the head coach of the girls’ basketball team, was arrested in 2016 and charged with 13 counts of having sex with a student under the age of 19.
She had sex 11 times with one of the students between October 2014 and March 2016 at her home and in a cemetery.
The teacher and student met four times at the cemetery, three times at her home and four times at another nearby location
Parker was also charged with having sex with a different 16-year-old boy at his home in June 2016.
Soon after Parker’s arrest, her husband Jamie Franklin Parker was charged with having sex with a female student six times in his home.
Jamie was also a teacher at Pickens Academy and the the boys basketball coach.
The husband allegedly had sex with the student at his home starting in December 2014 and continued seeing the teen until May 2015.
He is accused of having oral sex with the girl in December 2014 and January 2015. He allegedly had sexual intercourse with the student in January, February and April of 2015.
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
February 8th, 2018