A Calhoun County grand jury indicted a former Wedowee teacher on several sex charges involving a 15-year-old student.
The grand jury indicted David Brenton Burkhalter, 32, of Ashland during its August session on two counts of second-degree sodomy, one count of second-degree rape, one count of engaging in sexual contact with a student as a school employee and one count of second-degree sexual abuse.
Burkhalter was a Randolph County High School teacher before his arrest.
Burkhalter’s indictments allege he engaged in sexual activity with the student between Jan. 2, 2019 and Jan. 6, 2019.
He was initially charged with the five charges in December. Police told The Star then he had taken a girl to a motel in Oxford, where the five crimes occurred.
Burkhalter’s latest indictment comes after Randolph County authorities charged him with numerous sex crimes in February 2019. Authorities in Calhoun and Cleburne Counties issued warrants for his arrest shortly afterward.
Burkhalter was first booked into the Randolph County Jail, then the Clay County Jail, then finally the Calhoun County Jail before he was released on bond in December.
An attempt Friday to reach Burkhalter’s attorney, Sherri Mazur, was unsuccessful.
The Star typically withholds the identities of those charged with sex offenses unless and until they are convicted or plead guilty, because the stigma associated with such charges can linger even if the charges are dropped or the suspect is exonerated.
The Star may make exceptions, as in Burkhalter's case, to identify those charged with such crimes when they are public officials or public figures, or when their profession or position of community trust gives them access to potential victims.
Second-degree rape and second-degree sodomy are both Class B felonies. If convicted, Burkhalter could face up to two decades in prison and a maximum fine of $30,000 for each charge, according to state law.
Engaging in sexual contact with a student under 19 as a school employee is a Class C felony, which can result in up to a decade in prison and up to a $15,000 fine upon conviction.