Dothan Al June 20 2011 Police arrested a Northview High School teacher Friday on a charge he had sex with one of his students.
Dothan police arrested Calvin Bell-Tharpe, 30, Friday afternoon, and charged him with “felony school employee engaging in a sex act or sexual intercourse with a student under the age of 19.”
Attorney Shaun McGhee said his client was taken to jail and held on a $175,000 bond. McGhee, who was retained to represent Bell-Tharpe, said his client will have a bond hearing Monday morning in front of District Court Judge Benjamin Lewis.
McGhee said his client was charged with allegedly having sex with one of his students. He said the alleged offense date was sometime in November 2010.
McGhee said the charge filed against his client is new for the state of Alabama, and is only for school employees charged with having sex with a student. He called the crime a class B felony charge which carries a possible punishment of two to 20 years in prison.
According to the Northview High website, Bell-Tharpe has been a Dothan educator for five years, since January 2006. The school’s website also said Bell-Tharpe works as an art teacher and is the head tennis coach for the school. The website also said Bell-Tharpe graduated from Dothan High School, and also earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Troy University.
Sam Nichols, Dothan City Schools Superintendent, was out of town and unavailable for comment. Attempts to contact Dothan City School Board Chairman Harry Wayne Parrish were also unsuccessful.
Chris Maddox, District 6 school board member, said the board has yet to be informed of all the allegations and evidence against Bell-Tharpe. Maddox said if the allegations prove to be true, he would work to ensure Bell-Tharpe never taught again.