Mobile Al. Nov. 29, 2007
A 54-year-old Washington County teacher, arrested in the summer after being accused of having sex with a 14-year-old boy, was arrested again Friday after deputies said they found her sitting next to that boy at a high school football game.
In July, Washington County Circuit Judge Jerry Turner set Charlene Schmitz’s bail at $40,000 on state charges of second-degree rape and second-degree sodomy, while barring the Leroy High School teacher from having any contact with the student.
While in jail Tuesday awaiting a hearing on the Friday arrest, Schmitz learned that a federal grand jury had indicted her on one count each of enticing a child by computer and enticing a child by cell phone.
A bail revocation hearing had been set for Tuesday but was canceled when federal authorities announced their indictment of Schmitz, Washington County Sheriff Richard Stringer said.
The whole case began when the boy’s mother approached investigators with a stack of sexually explicit e-mails that she claimed the teacher had sent to her son, Stringer said.
“There were graphic exchanges about oral sex,” Stringer said at the time of Schmitz’s June 22 arrest. “We questioned witnesses, and the boy confessed to what was going on. He said it had been happening since April, mostly at her residence.”
Special Agent Angela Tobon, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Mobile, said agents arrested Schmitz on the federal charges Tuesday. Schmitz will likely make her initial appearance before a U.S. magistrate judge today, Tobon said.
If convicted of the federal charges, Schmitz faces 10 years to life in prison.
Stringer said the boy’s mother was at the football game in Leroy on Friday when she noticed her son was not where she had left him in the stands. She also realized that Schmitz was missing from her seat.
A relative soon spotted the two sitting together and notified deputies who were at the stadium, Stringer said. Three deputies arrested Schmitz, who was charged with tampering with a witness, the sheriff said.
The Press-Register on Tuesday was unable to contact District Attorney Spence Walker or defense attorney Donald Briskman.
Schmitz remains on paid administrative leave with the Washington County school system, pending the outcome of the cases against her, Stringer said.
Leroy High School serves grades kindergarten through 12, and has 817 students.
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