Monday, December 5, 2011

Female teacher convicted of rape‎ of a student


Amanda Watkins, 39-year-old former eighth-grade English teacher at Sheffield Junior High School, Muscle Shoals, Alabama, faces up to 40 years in prison after she was convicted of rape and sodomy last week for having sex with a 15-year-old boy in 2009.

Watkins had pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease and her attorney, Ralph Holt argued she suffered from eight mental and physical disorders. Doug McKeown, a Dothan psychologist who performed a court-ordered mental evaluation of Watkins, testified Thursday that while she suffers from a variety of mental disorders, she had the ability in December 2009 to know right from wrong.

Watkins was arrested after Muscle Shoals police discovered her and the teen in a vehicle parked at Covenant Christian School. Muscle Shoals police Capt. Lanny Coan testified Tuesday that Watkins admitted having sex with the teen. She was charged with second-degree rape and second-degree sodomy. She was fired from her job in January 2010 and did not appeal the firing.

Amanda Watkins’ husband testified that her wife was acting erratically in 2009 before being accused of having sex with a 15-year-old high school student. The unusual behavior began around April 2009.

“She started withdrawing from our family — our daughter, myself and our extended family, like her sister and parents,” he testified while being questioned by Holt. He said his wife would sometimes forget to pick their daughter up from after-school care and that his wife began dressing “like a teenager” and going to bars with a female friend and staying out at night

During cross-examination by Colbert District Attorney Bryce Graham, Watkins testified he never suspected his wife might be cheating when she began going to bars and staying out past midnight on the weekend. “That never crossed my mind.”


A sentencing date has not been set for Watkins. She faces two to 20 years in prison on each charge. Colbert Circuit Court Judge Jackie Hatcher allowed Watkins to remain free on a $15,000 bond while awaiting sentencing.

Source:
Ex-Ala. teacher convicted of rape‎ of a student

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