A husband and wife in Alabama are each facing accusations that they sexually assaulted students at the school where they both teach and coach, police say.
They are both teachers at Pickens Academy, a private Christian school in Carrolton, Alabama, the newspaper reports. The cases involve separate victims, a former female student in the Jamie Parker case and a male student in the Charli Parker case, the district attorney says.
None of the alleged crimes occurred on school grounds, District Attorney Chris McCool said. Charli Jones Parker was charged with 11 counts of engaging in a sex act with a student under the age of 19, McCool said. Her husband, Jamie Parker, was arrested on the same charge. More charges are expected to be filed, according to the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Charli Jones Parker Is Accused of Having Sex With a Student 11 Times, Including in a Cemetery
Charli Jones Parker is accused of engaging in sex acts with the male student on 11 occasions, including at her home in Carrollton, at Graham Cemetery in nearby Reform, Alabama, and near Fifth Avenue North in Reform, according to court documents obtained by The Dispatch, a local newspaper.
According to Al.com, the sex acts occurred between October 2014 and March 2016. Charli Parker and the student met four times at the cemetery, three times at the Parkers’ Carrollton home and four times at the other location in Reform.
“The incidents involving the husband and wife are separate and unrelated in place and manner of commission,” Pickens County District Attorney Chris McCool said in a statement. None of the incidents occurred at the school.
Details about the charges against Jamie Parker have not yet been made public.
2. They Both Coached the School’s Basketball Teams & Charli Parker’s Mother Also Teaches at the School
Charli Jones Parker and Jamie Parker are both teachers and coaches at Pickens Academy, according to the school’s website.
Charli Parker teaches physical education, elementary school computer classes and is the head girls basketball coach and head volleyball coach. Jamie Parker teaches math and is the head boys basketball coach.
Charli Parker’s mother is a sixth grade teacher at the school, according to her Facebook page. Charli Parker also attended the school, graduating in 2004.
Both Parkers graduated from the University of West Alabama. The couple previously worked together at SkillsTutor, a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, according to their wedding announcement.
3. They Were Married in 2010 & Have a Son Together
Charli Jones and James Parker were married in 2010, according to their wedding announcement in a local newspaper.
They have a young son together, according to their Facebook pages.
She grew up in Pickensville, while James Parker is from Selma, Alabama.
They were married at the First Baptist Church in Pickensville, with Charli Jones’ father officiating.
4. They Have Been Suspended by the School, Which Says It Is ‘Shocked & Dismayed’ by the Allegations
Pickens Academy has suspended both Parkers pending a further investigation, the school’s headmaster told Al.com in the statement:
We are obviously shocked and dismayed by this allegation and will be working to support all of our students and families in coping with this news. The safety and wellbeing of our students is and always will be our top priority. Unfortunately, these events have been a distraction from the many great things that take place at Pickens Academy. I request continued prayers for our school family and for all those involved.
Pickens Academy is a co-ed school of about 250 students from pre-K to high school. The school has about 20 teachers and administrators, including the Parkers, according to its website. The school was founded in 1970.
Headmaster Brach White says about the school on its website:
We are dedicated to educating students in a well-disciplined Christian environment. Our college preparatory curriculum prepares our students to enter major colleges, universities, junior colleges, or trade and technical programs. Pickens Academy’s elementary program includes K4-6th grades and provides students with a challenging curriculum by highly qualified teachers. The students are taught on advanced levels in all grades and enrichment opportunities are provided. Pickens Academy is a very special place that is very important to our community, parents, students, and alumni. PA has educated many students and it is more of a home than a school. We encourage our students to be the best they can be and give back to the community by being successful.
5. Charli Parker Was Released on $110,000 Bail, While Her Husband Remains in Custody
Charli Parker was released from Pickens County Jail on $110,000 bail, Al.com reports. James Parker remains in custody, according to online records.
The Parkers both face up to 20 years in prison if convicted. The charge they face is a Class B felony.
It is not clear if they have hired attorneys and they could not be reached for comment.