A Randolph County High School teacher was charged Wednesday morning with eight felony sex crimes.

David Brenton Burkhalter, 30, of Ashland, was charged with two counts of second-degree rape, one count of second-degree sodomy, two counts of electronic solicitation of a child, two counts of sexual activity by a school employee with a student under age 19,and one count of enticing a child to enter.

According to court documents, Burkhalter used his cell phone to contact a 15-year-old student and engaged in sexual intercourse with her Dec. 15, and again Jan. 15. Burkhalter also allegedly invited her into his vehicle during the Jan. 15 incident.

A press release from the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office stated that Burkhalter’s arrest came after an investigation by Wedowee police, who received an allegationFeb. 6 that Burkhalter and the student were having a sexual relationship. The investigation was assisted by the sheriff’s departments of both Randolph and Clay counties.

According to the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office, Burkhalter turned himself in and was booked into the Randolph County Jail, where he remains with bond set at $1 million.

Second-degree rape, second-degree sodomy, electronic solicitation of a child and violation of the School Employee Sex Act are all Class B felonies. Burkhalter could face up to two decades in prison and owe up to $30,000 in fines, according to state law. Enticing a child to enter is a Class C felony.

The RCSO said the investigation of Burkhalter’s case is open and ongoing, and encouraged anyone with additional information to contact police.

Randolph County schools Superintendent John Jacobs said the board of education placed Burkhalter on paid administrative leave on Feb. 6 pending the outcome of the investigation. He also said the board is cooperating with authorities in the matter.

Contact Staff Writer Amalia Kortright at 256-235-3563.

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