MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A former Selma High School teacher has pleaded guilty to a felony charge of having sex with a teen student, a case that helped put a spotlight on the troubled Selma city school system.
LaTanglia Williams also pleaded guilty Friday to a misdemeanor charge of having sexual contact with another student.
The 37-year-old Williams entered the pleas in Dallas County Circuit Court. Circuit Judge Jack Meigs sentenced Williams to 10 years in prison for the felony, but suspended the sentence.
District Attorney Michael Jackson says Williams will serve 14 months in jail and then be on probation for three years. She will also be required to undergo psychological counseling.
“It gets her out of the school system, and it puts her behind bars,” Jackson said.
The case drew the attention of officials with the Alabama Department of Education. The state Board of Education voted to take over the school system after an audit found academic problems and that the school system failed to adequately investigate the accusations of sexual misconduct.
Williams has been on unpaid administrative leave. Larry DiChiara, the acting as the chief administrative officer for Selma schools, said the system will move forward with removing her from the rolls.
“While I am pleased with the outcome, Ms. Williams is very fortunate to receive the sentence that she received. When I heard the outcome, my heart went immediately to those students who were the victims of her actions while under her care,” DiChiara said.
Williams’ defense attorney could not be reached for comment
Jackson said she has until next Friday to report to jail.