Houston County District Attorney Doug Valeska criticized two Rehobeth High School guidance counselors who testified on behalf of a former school teacher accused of having illegal sex with a student. Robert Lee Michael, 44, was sentenced Wednesday to 36 years in prison on seven sex charges.
"It was shocking to me to see the counselors get (on the stand)," Valeska said. "The first one got up there smiling and thought things were funny and the second one got up there and when I asked if the same thing had happened to her daughter would she look at it different and her answer was yes."
The women called Michel a good teacher though both admitted they had no idea he was involved in sexual activity with a student until he was arrested. One said Michel has suffered greatly since his arrest, having lost his wife and job. Neither suggested to Judge Butch Binford what they consider appropriate punishment.
"It's hard for me to believe that guidance counselors would get up and speak for a monster and sexual pervert and say he's been punished," Valeska said. "I say to the Rehobeth community step up and show class as I'm sure you have and support this victim and her family and tell them you are great people unlike some others who got up there and vouched for this sexual pervert."
Michael pleaded guilty in October to three counts of having sex with a student and four counts of pornographic material. Valeska said Michel was having sex with the 16-year old girl when her mother returned home unexpectedly. Michael ran out the front door without clothes on as neighbors watched.
He was charged under a recently enacted Alabama law that makes it illegal to have sex with a student who has reached the legal age of consent.