Two east Alabama high school teachers have been arrested after authorities say they were sexually involved with two teen students.
Jeremiah Douglas Farmer, 23, is charged with having sexual contact with a student and distribution of obscene material to a student. Gregory Alan Lane, 27, is charged with deviate sexual intercourse with a student and having sexual contact with a student.
Both were arrested Friday, said Calhoun County Sheriff Matthew Wade. Farmer’s bond was set at $15,000 and Lane’s bond was set at $22,500. Both were teachers at Walter Wellborn High School, and Lane was also a coach. Both are no longer employed at the school.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether they have retained lawyers who could comment on their behalf.
Wade said Monday the investigation began when a student that wasn’t involved in the alleged criminal behavior became aware of inappropriate behavior between the two teachers and two female students and reported it to school officials. The school immediately contact the sheriff’s office.
“They were interacting with two different female students, sending nude pictures back and forth,’’ Wade said. “One of them we know had sexual intercourse and the other had sexual contact.’’
He said Farmer and Lane were aware of each other’s actions. “The two male teachers were in contact with each other and knew what the other one was doing,’’ the sheriff said.
Court records state Farmer was involved with the student from Nov. 7 through Feb. 19.
During the investigation, Wade said, detectives learned that both teachers were also selling THC pods and marijuana to students. “These are just two really bad guys,’’ he said.
“It’s still an ongoing investigation and there are possibly more charges,’’ Wade said.
The teachers, he said, knew better. “They have classes in college about ethics. The school system has training about this as well,’’ the sheriff said. “They just chose to break the law and chose to not have good moral character. “
“This is not behavior that is tolerated by the school system. When the principal and teachers found out about it, they immediately called us,’’ he said. “It’s like a bad law enforcement officer – one bad law enforcement does something, and it paints a bad picture over everyone and that’s what these two people have done.”
“There are over 1200 Calhoun county school employees and 1,198 do the right thing and make a positive difference in the kids lives each and every day,’’ Wade said “It’s just a shame these two men decided to break that trust and sully that reputation. “
“We’re going to make sure these guys are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,’’ he said. “We want to make sure they never teach again and if convicted, they’ll be registered sex offenders.”