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A former Alabama special education teacher who also worked as an assistant softball coach at a local high school allegedly began having sex with a high school student just a month after receiving her teaching certificate.
Catherine Lynn Coffey, 22, has been charged with engaging in a sex act with a student under the age of 19 while working as a school employee and engaging in sexual contact with a student under the age of 19, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office announced on Friday.
The sheriff’s department “received allegations of improper sexual misconduct between a teacher and a student” on Feb. 24, which prompted an immediate investigation. The alleged victim was interviewed, “at which time criminal acts were determined did take place,” according to the sheriff’s office.
The alleged sexual contact happened between August and December of last year, authorities told Oxygen.com.
Coffey was released on $31,000 bail on Friday afternoon, the sheriff's department told Oxygen.com. Coffey herself has not immediately returned Oxygen.com’s request for comment.
The ex-teacher could become a registered sex offender and face up to 30 years behind bars if she is convicted.
The woman's Facebook profile stated that she was a special education teacher at Madison County Elementary and Middle Schools. She was also an assistant softball coach at Madison County High School, where the alleged victim is enrolled as a student, AL.com reports.
Coffey received her Alabama state teaching certificate in July — just one month before the alleged illicit acts allegedly began, according to online records from Alabama’s Department of Education.
Coffey had been placed on administrative leave by Madison County Schools following her arrest, its spokesperson Tim Hall told Oxygen.com. Coffey then submitted her resignation on Sunday, Hall added.
"She is no longer employed by our school system," he said. Her profile has since been removed from the school's websites.
Local outlet WAAY 31 has obtained her resignation letter which states, “It deeply saddens me to inform you of my resignation. However, given the allegations against me, I feel it is in the best interest of the school."
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