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Teacher gets one year in prison for having sex with student, 15

PELL CITY (AP) — A former Leeds High School teacher was sentenced to a year in prison Monday after pleading guilty to second-degree rape for having consensual sex with a 15-year-old boy who was a student at her school.

Emily Morris, 27, was sentenced by Circuit Court Judge Jim Hill to a split five-year sentence, with one year in prison and four on probation.

Morris, who admitted in court to having sex with the student, is to report to jail Jan. 5. She has been free on bond since her arrest in June. A 10th-grade English teacher at Leeds High for part of the 2004-2005 school year, Morris resigned after the allegations surfaced.

St. Clair County District Attorney Lamar Williamson said Morris had sex with the 15-year-old in her car away from school property in February.

Under the plea-bargain, prosecutors dropped a second charge of second-degree rape and a charge of second-degree sodomy. Second-degree rape carries a sentence of up to 20 years.

Morris' attorney, William Dawson, said she agreed to the plea bargain in part because of the possibility of a longer sentence.

The district attorney said it was important that she spend some time behind bars.

"She was in a position of trust and authority as a school teacher," Williamson said.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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