Former Limestone teacher charged with having sex with student marries victim
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Nov. 23 - ATHENS - A former East Limestone High School teacher and coach who was accused in September of having sex with a student has since married the student and is asking the court for permission to contact her, according to a Limestone County District Court filing.
Thomas Blake Tucker, 25, of Madison, was arrested Sept. 17 and charged with having sex with a student under the age of 19, a Class B felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. The alleged sexual contact took place on September 16. After a preliminary hearing, the case was referred to the grand jury on October 20.
Tucker was released from prison after posting $30,000 bail. Terms of the bond included that he should have no contact with the victim and should not attempt to communicate with the victim.
Tucker resigned from Limestone County Schools on October 25.
On Monday, Tucker's attorneys filed a "motion to remove certain bond terms" with an attached marriage certificate. The marriage license issued in Limestone County is dated November 8.
According to the motion, "The couple obtained the marriage license despite the current bonding restrictions to which the defendant is currently adhering."
The motion asks the court to "remove any condition of attachment that prevents the defendant and his wife from contacting, communicating and living as a legal and legally married couple."
Both Tucker and his wife signed the marriage license on November 7, although the signatures were notarized by different notaries.
District Judge Gray West scheduled the motion for a December 6 hearing.
The student's age is not included in the court records. Under Alabama law, the youngest age at which a person can be married is 16, but parental consent is required for anyone under the age of 18 to marry.
While Alabama rules of evidence prevent one spouse from being forced to testify against the other in certain circumstances, a Blount County judge ruled in 2016 that marital privilege should not be allowed in a case in which a teacher was accused of having sex with a student and having had the two does not count as later married. Prosecutors argued the student had to testify because it was a "sham marriage" designed to protect the defendant, but the court focused on spousal privilege, which did not apply when the spouse was the victim.
Despite the verdict, the charges in the Blount County case were eventually dropped by the district attorney when the student in that case - who was considered a key witness - refused to testify.
— firstname.lastname@example.org or 256-340-2435. Twitter @DD_Fleischauer.
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