A Calhoun County judge on Monday set a special preliminary hearing for an Anniston High School teacher charged with sexual abuse crimes.
Shedrick Bernard Long, 46, turned himself in to Anniston police last month after the Calhoun County District Attorney’s Office issued warrants on a second-degree sexual abuse charge and a charge of having sexual contact with a student younger than 19 as a school employee, police have said.
District Judge Chris McIntyre on Monday scheduled a hearing for 10 a.m. Nov. 27 to hear from any witnesses in the case. After the testimony, McIntyre will decide if the case will move on to a grand jury.
Anniston police Sgt. Kyle Price said last month that the alleged abuse occurred between Aug. 1 and when a report was made on Sept. 6. The incidents, Price said, occurred at the high school.
According to a warrant on the second-degree sexual abuse charge, the victim was younger than 16.
The day after the incidents were reported, the Anniston City Schools Board of Education voted to place a teacher on administrative leave after an executive session but declined to name the teacher. Shortly after Long’s arrest, Anniston Superintendent Darren Douthitt said the teacher was on paid administrative leave.
Douthitt said by text message on Monday that Long is still on paid leave.
Long hired attorneys Bill Broome and Will Broome Jr. to represent him. The Broomes declined to comment after the hearing. Efforts to reach Clarence Dortch, another attorney representing Long, were unsuccessful.
Long worked as a career technology teacher at the high school, according to the school’s website. Long also resigned from his position as a part-time police officer with the Talladega Police Department on Sept. 8, Talladega City Manager Patrick Bryant said last month. Bryant said Long did not disclose his reasons for resigning.
Second-degree sexual abuse is a Class A misdemeanor but can be enhanced to a Class C felony if charged with multiple sex crimes, according to Alabama law. Sexual contact with a student by a teacher is a Class C felony, according to state law.
An appeal pending before a state court could have an effect on Long’s case. In August in Morgan County, a circuit judge dismissed a case against a Decatur High School teacher charged with having sex with two students after the judge found the state law prohibiting teachers from sex with students older than the age of consent to be overbroad and unconstitutional. Prosecutors filed an appeal of the judge’s ruling to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals the day after the ruling.