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An Alabama teacher—who once argued she was within her rights to have sex with two students—has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Carrie Cabri Witt, 47, who was handed down the sentence Thursday, is expected to serve 18 months behind bars in state prison, another 18 months in a community corrections program and then continue the rest of her sentence on probation, People reports.
Witt pleaded guilty in March to one count of a school employee engaging in a sex act with a student, after prosecutors agreed to dismiss a second count against her.
Witt, a former teacher at Decatur High School, was arrested in March 2016 for having sex with two male students, who were 17 and 18 years old at the time, local station WAAY reports. Witt taught history and psychology at the school and also served as a coach for golf and the junior varsity cheer team, according to the outlet.
Witt’s legal team had argued that the teacher had a right to have sex with the students because under Alabama law anyone over the age of 16 is able to legally consent to having sex.
She contended the relationships had been consensual and her attorneys argued that a state statute prohibiting sexual relationships between school employees and students was unconstitutional.
Prosecutors, however, argued that the statute was necessary to protect children from sexual advances of employees at school.
The case went all the way to the Alabama Supreme Court, who determined that her claim that the sex was consensual didn’t impact the case against her and the case was returned to Morgan County.
Just before her trial was set to begin, Witt opted to plead guilty to one count of a school employee engaging in a sex act with a student.
During her sentencing, Witt apologized for her actions.
“I’m ashamed,” she said according to the Decatur Daily. “I don’t think I’ve ever been more ashamed of myself.”
One of her victims testified in court during the sentencing that the relationship had been consensual and said that “the crime doesn’t fit the punishment,” the newspaper reports.
After her arrest, Witt was placed on administrative leave with the school district before she resigned two years later. While on leave, Witt collected $116,412 from the district before her resignation, WAAY reports.
The former teacher is now required to register as a sex offender.
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