An Alabama special education teacher has been accused of sending sexually-charged text messages to two high school students and having sex with one of them.
Lyndsey Sherrod Bates, 22, was indicted Friday on five criminal charges related to the alleged relationships, including a felony charge of engaging in a sex act with a student younger than 19, AL.com reports.
Authorities say the former Madison County High School teacher had sex with a 17-year-old male student at the school and also sent explicit photos of herself to the teen and another student, who has been described as at least 16 years of age.
Neither student was in Bates’ special education classes, according to court records obtained by the news outlet.
Bates was arrested in April 2019, shortly after she had resigned from the high school, where she also served as a volleyball coach, local station WAFF reports.
At the time of her arrest, the Madison County sheriff’s office identified Bates as the daughter-in-law of Stacy Bates, a chief deputy at the sheriff’s office.
Although the sheriff’s office had investigated the case, Lieutenant Donny Shaw told WAAY-TV in April that the relationship “in no way affected the investigative process or urgency” in Bates’ arrest.
Sheriff Kevin Turner added that Stacy Bates “was never involved” in the investigation.
The day Bates resigned from her position, her husband, Andrew Bates, filed for divorce, citing “incompatability” in the filing.
The couple had gotten married in May 2018.
Her defense attorney Robert Tuten told AL.com that Bates is “looking forward to clearing this up and having her day in court.”
She still maintains her teaching certificate, according to the Alabama State Department of Education, however, records indicate that she is the subject of “alleged misconduct.”
The status of her teaching certificate will be “updated as soon as possible” if changes are made to her license, records said.
Bates is also facing three charges of distributing obscene material to a student and one count of having sexual contact with a student. She is currently out on bail while awaiting trial.
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.