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Julie Pritchett, 34
A female special education teacher and sponsor of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes club at a middle school in Alabama has been charged with having sex with at least eight high school students between the ages of 15 and 19.
Julie Pritchett, 34, is facing two counts of second-degree sodomy and one count of second-degree sexual abuse of two boys younger than 16 years old, the Birmingham News reported. The incidents allegedly took place between February and April.
Pritchett is not facing additional charges for having sex with the other six boys because the remaining incidents involved students who are now of consenting age or who have reportedly refused to cooperate with the investigation.
Pritchett is just the latest instructor to make WND’s big list of American teachers accused or convicted of having sexual relations with students.
Jefferson County sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Randy Christian said there could be more than eight students who had sexual relationships with the former Clay-Chalkville Middle School teacher.
“It takes such a long time and so much effort to become a teacher,” Christian said. “It is very difficult to understand that someone would waste all of that by such actions. It sounds like she has some serious issues to work through, but that will never excuse what she has done.”
The sheriff’s department released a statement saying, “Phone records were subpoenaed and support the statements of the victims and witnesses. When the news media reported that a teacher was under investigation, Julie Pritchett changed her phone number, shut down her MySpace account and resigned from her teaching position where she was a tenured teacher.”
A parent called the sheriff’s department May 2 and complained that his son was being sexually abused by a teacher. Jefferson County school board lawyer Burgin Kent said the board placed Pritchett on leave, began its own investigation and notified authorities following reports of the abuse.
“It was an unfortunate situation,” Kent said.
Pritchett sponsored hostesses for the Clay-Chalkville High School baseball team, called the Diamond Dolls. While she held the position, she became reacquainted with some of her former students who were active in the sports program. Christian said Pritchett then began having sex with a 15-year-old boy, and later had sex with at least seven of his friends. All of the incidents were initiated by the former teacher and several happened on school grounds. Other sex acts took place at victims’ homes.
Pritchett surrendered in May and was released on bonds totaling $60,000.