Second Vina teacher reaches plea deal
More than a year after his arrest, a former Vina High School teacher reached a plea agreement on Feb. 6 stemming from his charges.
Brian Scott Keeton, 38, Carbon Hill, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault in Franklin County Court and also agreed to have no contact with the victim or her family as well as to never teach again.
Franklin County District Attorney Joey Rushing said the victim and her family got everything they were seeking in the agreement.
“We wanted to find a resolution to this situation and we feel like we got everything that the victim and her family was looking for,” Rushing said. “After talking to the victim and her family and talking with the defendant we feel like this was the best outcome we could reach.”
Keeton had been sentenced to four years in prison stemming from charges of having sexual intercourse with a student under 19 years of age while being a school employee, which was a felony.
Rushing said this case was a bit more difficult than the previous case involving a former Vina High School employee.
“The circumstances with this case was different,” Rushing said. “It involved only one charge, there was a different circumstance with the evidence that was available, and Keeton did not offer a confession like the other case.
“We thought it would be a difficult case if it went to court and at one point we thought it was going to end up going to court,” Rushing said.
According to the agreement signed by Keeton, the former teacher and coach avoided time in prison by signing the plea agreement. Keeton’s four-year prison sentence was suspended and he was placed on three years’ supervised probation. He also signed over his teaching certificate, which bars him from ever teaching again.
Under the agreement Keeton also agreed to never have contact with the victim or the family.
Rushing said the family wanted to reach an agreement in large part in order to keep the victim from having to endure the rigors of testifying in court.
“Testifying in court, in front of the defendant, can be a stressful thing for a young adult,” Rushing said. “After talking to them and explaining the circumstances they decided that this was the best route to take in order to keep their daughter from having to go through a stressful event such as that.”
The alleged event took place during 2013. According to officials Keeton had been in contact with the victim since the summer of that year before allegedly having a sexual encounter in October. Keeton resigned both his teaching and coaching positions in Feb. 2014.