DECATUR, Ala. (AP) — A former Alabama high school teacher who spent more than two years on paid leave before pleading guilty to having sex with a student was ordered to pay $100,000 in restitution to cover the cost of her salary and benefits during the case, the Decatur Daily reported.
The Decatur City Schools system said the order, released Monday, was believed to the first time in the state where a former teacher was ordered to make such a reimbursement.
Former Decatur High School teacher Carrie Cabri Witt, 48, pleaded guilty in March 2021 to having sex with a student younger than 19. She was on leave from March 2016, when she was arrested, until August 2018, when she resigned the day before a personnel hearing.
In addition to serving three years in custody and spending three years on probation, Witt must pay $100,000 in restitution under an amended sentencing order by Circuit Judge Jennifer M. Howell.
Morgan County District Attorney Scott Anderson, who pursued the repayment order, said the school system was a victim in the case because it was “directly impacted” by what had happened.
“I want it to be an eye-opener to people who abuse children,” he said. The money must be repaid by June 15, he said.
Witt was arrested on charges of having sex with two male students, one of whom was 17 and the other was 18 when the relationship began. Charges involving one of the teens were dismissed.
At a hearing, a male victim said the sexual encounter was consensual and “the crime doesn’t fit the punishment.”