Former Limestone teacher charged with having sex with student marries victim | #teacher | #children | #kids

Nov. 23—ATHENS — A former East Limestone High teacher and coach charged in September with having sex with a student has since married the student and is seeking the court’s permission to have contact with her, according to a Limestone County District Court filing.

Thomas Blake Tucker, 25, of Madison, was arrested on 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 Sept. 16. After a preliminary hearing, the case was bound over to the grand jury on Oct. 20.

Tucker was released from jail after posting a $30,000 bond. Among the conditions of the bond was that he have no contact with the victim and that he not attempt to communicate with the victim.

Tucker resigned from Limestone County Schools on Oct. 25.

On Monday, Tucker’s attorneys filed a “motion to strike certain bond conditions” with a marriage certificate attached. The marriage certificate, obtained in Limestone County, is dated Nov. 8.

According to the motion, “the couple obtained the marriage certificate despite the current bond restrictions that the defendant is currently adhering to.”

The motion asks the court to “strike any bond condition limiting the defendant and his wife from contacting, communicating and living as a lawful and legally married couple.”

Both Tucker and his wife signed the marriage certificate on Nov. 7, although the signatures were witnessed by different notaries.

District Judge Gray West scheduled the motion for a Dec. 6 hearing.

The age of the student is not included in the court filings. Under Alabama law, the youngest age at which a person can be married is 16, but parental consent is required for any person under the age of 18 to be married.

While Alabama evidentiary rules prevent one spouse from being compelled to testify against the other in some circumstances, a Blount County judge in 2016 ruled that the marital privilege did not apply in a case where a teacher was charged with having sex with a student and the two later got married. The prosecution argued the student was required to testify because it was a “sham” wedding aimed at protecting the defendant, but the court focused on the spousal privilege not applying when the spouse was the victim.

Despite the ruling, the charges in the Blount County case were eventually dropped by the district attorney when the student in that case — deemed an essential witness — refused to testify.

— or 256-340-2435. Twitter @DD_Fleischauer.

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