A prosecutor claims that a teacher charged with sleeping with his student married her so she wouldn’t get called on by the court. Matthew Shane Wester, a teacher at Cleveland High School in Alabama, was indicted in January 2015 on a charge of a school employee having sexual contact with a student under the age of 19. That April, Wester, 38, got divorced from his wife, and in June he married the student, Amy Nicole Cox, 18.
The trial for Wester’s case is scheduled to start on April 25, and according to AL.com, Pamela Casey, the District Attorney for Blount County wants to make Cox testify against her husband. The problem is that Alabama law protects a person from being compelled to testify against their spouse. Casey claims this was part of Wester’s plan, saying in a pretrial motion, “It is the state’s position that the marriage to the student is a sham by the defendant to prevent the student from testifying against him.”
Casey is claiming that case law says there is no such protection in this case. She says that the privilege not to testify does not exist when a person is charged with a crime targeting the spouse, citing cases going back to the 1800s.
This is just one of many recent cases involving teacher-student sexual relationships in Alabama. It has become such an issue that state lawmakers proposed requiring school employees to take a course on not getting involved with the kids.
[h/t AL.com, image via Cleveland High School]