Ex-Alabama teacher told to pay back his salary after sex plea

DECATUR, Ala. (AP) – A former high school teacher in Alabama who spent more than two years on paid leave before pleading guilty to having sex with a student has been ordered to pay $100,000 in restitution to cover the cost of his salary and benefits during the case, the Decatur Daily reported.

The City of Decatur Schools System said the order, released Monday, is believed to be the first time in the state that a former teacher has been ordered to make such a refund.

Former Decatur High School teacher Carrie Cabri Witt, 48, pleaded guilty in March 2021 to having sex with a student under 19. She was on furlough from March 2016, when she was arrested, until August 2018, when she resigned the day before a staff hearing.

In addition to serving three years in custody and spending three years on probation, Witt must pay $100,000 in restitution under a sentencing order amended by Circuit Judge Jennifer M. Howell.

Morgan County District Attorney Scott Anderson, who pursued the refund order, said the school system was a victim in the case because it was “directly affected” by what happened.

“I want this to be an eye opener for people who abuse children,” he said. The money must be repaid by June 15, he said.

Witt was arrested for having sex with two male students, one of whom was 17 and the other 18 when the relationship began. Charges involving one of the teenagers were dismissed.

At a hearing, a male victim said the sex was consensual and that “the crime does not fit the sentence”.