Charli Jones Parker appeals sentencing: cites constitutional equal employee ruling claiming discrimination against teachers rights to physically engage students.
Charli Jones Parker a 31 year old former Alabama teacher convicted of having sex with students has launched an appeal challenging her conviction on the basis it is unconstitutional.
The appeal comes after the former Pickens Academy teacher was convicted last year of having sex with two male sixteen year old students reported the Tuscaloosa News.
In her arguments, Parker who is in the midst of serving a three year jail sentence cites a Morgan County Circuit Court judge ruling in August that held the law violated an equal protection clause which affords teachers the same treatment in court as other professions.
In that case, charges against Decatur High School school teacher, Carrie Witt and an aide accused of having relations with their students were dismissed.
Parker’s attorney argued in a brief filed Tuesday that her conviction should be appealed on the same grounds.
The law prohibits school employees from having sex with students under the age of 19, regardless of where the student is enrolled.
Offered Parker’s attorney, Virginia Buck, ‘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’.
Charli Jones Parker appeals sentencing: Are school teachers being singled out unfairly?
Central to Buck’s claim is that the law violates teachers’ equal protection right under the 14th Amendment, because it treats teachers and other school employees differently than other citizens. In Alabama, other adults who have consensual sex with 16-year-olds do not face criminal prosecution.
In court filings, Buck gave a hypothetical example in which a school janitor could go on spring break and have sex with a teen girl who was 16, and he would be violating the law. On the other hand, ‘a 65-year-old doctor, minister, therapist, or attorney is not subject to criminal liability in Alabama for having consensual sex with a 16-year-old,’ she said.
The age of consent in Alabama is 16.
Reiterated Buck, ‘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.’
A claim that might be true except for the fact most employees are not in a unique position of trust, authority and power, that school teachers are with students, (irrespective if they are in the teacher’s class or not…) raising the ethical dilemma of a teacher abusing their post at the expense of their child victims.
Parker pleaded guilty in August to having sex with the teens, including more than a dozen times with one boy between October 2014 and March 2016. She was sentenced to three years in prison upon pleading guilty to a single charge of sexual assault.
If her conviction is overturned, the ruling could possibly benefit her husband, James Franklin Parker III. The 33-year-old also pleaded guilty to sexual contact with a former student and is set to be sentenced in June. He has not appealed his case.
Which is to wonder, would Morgan County Circuit Judge Glenn Thompson have made the same ‘constitutional’ ruling last summer had the genders of the teacher and victim being reversed? Raising the question to what degree do courts normalize the view that it is men who are the predominant sexual predators in society despite the many instances of females often abusing their position of authority, trust and access over the young men they subjugate. Inside or outside the classroom.