An Alabama Special Education teacher has pleaded guilty after being accused of engaging in sexual acts with two of her teenage students.
Lyndsey Sherrod Bates was sentenced Tuesday to time served plus three years of probation. A 10-year prison sentence was also suspended as part of a plea deal with prosecutors, AL.com reports. If she completes her probation successfully, she will face no jail time.
Bates will, however, be required to register as a sex offender for life.
Bate also coached volleyball at Madison County High School in Gurley.
She pleaded guilty to the felony charges of having sex with a student and engaging in a sex act with a student younger than 19, plus three misdemeanor counts of distributing obscene material to a student.
"She's going to be a sex offender and felon," Madison County Assistant District Attorney Tim Douthit said. "But we're not sending people to jail for consensual sex without any evidence of coercion."
Both students were at least 16, which is the age of consent in Alabama, and neither was a student in Bates' classroom, however, Alabama's laws still prohibit all school employees from having sexual contact with students.
Andrew Bates, her husband, filed for divorce, citing "incompatibility" in an uncontested breakup that was later finalized some 14 months after they got married.
Andrew Bates' father, Stacy Bates, is a chief deputy for the Madison County Sheriff's Office, according to New York Post.
Bates resigned from her job at Madison County High School upon her arrest in April.