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Charges against teacher dismissed

The case of a former Vina teacher accused of engaging in a sexual relationship with one of her students was dismissed this past week, courthouse officials said.
Kimberly Dawn Bynum, 31, 100 Regency Plaza, Apt. E5, Russellville, was originally charged with being a school employee engaging in a sexual act with a student under the age of 19, which is a Class B felony in the state of Alabama.
Franklin County District Attorney Joey Rushing said charges were formally dismissed on July 2 at the request of all parties involved.
“This was a unique situation in that the victim in the case, his parents, the school and the investigating agency all agreed the case should be dismissed,” Rushing said.
“There would also have been issues with prosecuting the case because the alleged victim is now an adult and has actually married the defendant.
“He indicated he did not want to cooperate with the prosecution and would assert his marital privileges if the case proceeded.”
Rushing said the victim’s parents also expressed they did not want to continue with the case against their now daughter-in-law.
“Based on all these limitations and the wishes of the victim’s family, we decided it would be best to dismiss the case,” Rushing said.
Bynum was first arrested in June 2011 after authorities began investigating rumors circulating in the Vina community that Bynum and one of her students were involved in a relationship.
After questioning the then 17-year-old senior from Vina, who admitted to the relationship, investigators questioned Bynum when she voluntarily came in for questioning.
Bynum admitted to the relationship during questioning, authorities said.
During the investigation, officers discovered Bynum had become friends with the student towards the end of the school year, but investigators said the friendship eventually turned into a sexual relationship.
Investigators said the student and Bynum had continued seeing each other after the student graduated in May 2011.
Authorities said no sexual acts had occurred on school property. All evidence suggests Bynum and the student met after school hours.
Franklin County Superintendent Gary Williams confirmed Bynum turned in her resignation to the Franklin County School Board shortly after her arrest.
Rushing said the case was pursued as the result of a bill sponsored by Rep. Demetrius Newton (D-Birmingham) and signed into law by former Gov. Bob Riley in 2010 that made it a felony for a teacher to have a sexual relationship with a student under the age of 19 even though 16 is the age of consent under Alabama law.