On Tuesday, Lyndsey Sherrod Bates was sentenced to time served plus three years of probation, the New York Post reports. A 10-year prison sentence was ruled out as part of a plea deal with prosecutors.
The 23-year-old was accused of having sex with one student and committing a sex act with another. The teens were at least 16-years-old and weren’t in Bates’ class at school, Madison County Assistant District Attorney Tim Douthit said. Bates also coached volleyball at the county high school.
Bates resigned a month before she was arrested last April. Two days later, her husband, Andrew, filed for divorce, noting “incompatibility” in an undisputed split that was settled 14 months after they were married, according to AL.com. Bates will reportedly be registered as a sex offender for life.
“She’s going to be a sex offender and felon,” Douthit told AL. “But we’re not sending people to jail for consensual sex without any evidence of coercion.”
Alabama state law prohibits school employees from having sex with students, whether or not consent is given, and if the student is a member of the teacher’s class.
Bates pleaded guilty to three charges in total, including three counts of distributing obscene material to a student. She has been scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.
When Bates was arrested, her father-in-law was Stacy Bates, a chief deputy for the Madison County sheriff’s office, which issued a statement that the relationship didn’t affect the investigation.