Sex charges dropped against Baldwin teacher

The Baldwin County District Attorney’s Office is dismissing charges against a former Baldwin County High School teacher who was accused of having sex with two students.

District Attorney Fred Bright said a recent Georgia Supreme Court decision has “created an insurmountable roadblock” in the case against Alison Ivey, 30.

“That’s the one and only reason we dismissed the case,” he said.

On June 5, the Georgia Supreme Court reversed the conviction of Melissa Lee Chase, a 28-year-old high school teacher in Harlem accused of sexually assaulting her 16-year-old female student based on the sex acts being consensual and the student having reached the legal age of consent, according to the court’s ruling.

In Georgia, the legal age for sexual consent is 16.

Before the Chase case, it didn’t matter whether a student over the age of 16 consented to sexual contact with a teacher, Bright said.

“It was a crime,” he said.

Now, Bright said the Chase case changed all the rules.

“It is no longer a crime for a teacher to engage in consensual sex with a student over 16,” he said.

Bright said prosecuting attorneys filed a motion asking the court to reconsider its ruling. The court’s decision to decline reconsideration was released Tuesday.

Ivey’s attorney, Franklin J. Hogue, said Ivey has moved to Ellijay and is relieved the charges are being dropped.

“Of course my client, Alison, is extremely pleased and happy with the decision to dismiss the case against her,” Hogue said.

Since her arrest in March 2008, Ivey has denied having sex with the students, who were 17 and 18 years old at the time, he said.

Ivey was placed on administrative leave from her job as a marketing teacher on March 19, 2008, and she later resigned, according to the Baldwin County Board of Education.

Ivey turned herself in at the Baldwin County jail on March 20, 2008, and she later was released on $25,000 bond.

She was indicted on five counts of sexual assault in October 2008, and Bright said the case was scheduled for trial in August.

New details of the allegations against Ivey were released Tuesday.

Bright said Ivey was accused of performing consensual oral sex on a then 17-year-old student in her car off school grounds sometime after Christmas 2007. She also was accused of having consensual sexual intercourse with the teenager — a student in one of her classes — at her home on two occasions in February and March 2008, he said.

A lawyer representing the student, now a college student, has said he plans to file a civil case against Ivey, Bright said.

Ivey also is alleged to have engaged in consensual sexual intercourse with a then-18-year-old student in Ivey’s desk chair in her classroom and consensual sexual intercourse in her car, off school property, between August 2007 and December 2007, he said.

Bright said there were no witnesses to the alleged sex acts, but the 17-year-old student could describe the inside of Ivey’s house and her bedroom in detail.

Information from The Telegraph’s archives was included in this report. To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.