By The Trussville Tribune staff reports
BLOUNT COUNTY –The conviction of a Blount County teacher found guilty of having sex with multiple students has been upheld by the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals.
Ashley Parkins Pruitt had pleaded guilty, but then appealed her conviction.
“Today, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction of Ashley Pruitt for engaging in sexual acts with her students. It is a good day for students and teachers in Alabama,” District Attorney Pamela Casey said via social media. “The Court indicated this case exemplified the need for the law! We will ask she report to start serving her sentence. I will never stop fighting to protect our kids from predators.”
The victims had been students of Pruitt at Locust Fork High School, but she was later hired by Appalachian School when the offenses occurred. Pruitt appealed on the basis that the victims were no longer her students when the crimes occurred.
The appellate court stated in the ruling that “It is undisputed that Pruitt was a school employee and that the victims in this case were students under the age of 19 years. The particular facts of this case exemplify the importance of reading 13A-6-81 to prohibit sexual contact between teachers and students, regardless of whether the teacher and student are in the same school or different schools.”
Pruitt, a Locust Fork High School graduate and former college basketball player was indicted on two counts of providing pornography to a minor, two counts of sex act with a student, one count of sex contact with a student involving three different students.
She pleaded guilty to four of those charges in April of 2017, including two felony counts of sex act or deviant sexual intercourse with a student, and two counts of porn distribution to a minor, both misdemeanors. A third charge of sex act with a student was dismissed as part of the plea agreement.
Pruitt was sentenced to 15 years in prison, but will only serve one year behind bars and another two years on house arrest. She will also be forced to pay a $1,000 fine on each count and a $100 Crime Victim Compensation Fee. While on house arrest, she will wear an ankle monitor and cover all costs associated.
Pruitt was also sentenced to one year in jail with just six months to serve on the two counts of porn distribution to a minor. Additionally, she will pay a $250 fine on each count, and a $25 Crime Victim Compensation Fee.