Former ACCS teacher pleads guilty to simple assault

Published 12:06 am Wednesday, July 8, 2015

NATCHEZ — The former Adams County Christian School teacher who was indicted on a charge of touching a child for lustful purposes has received a suspended jail sentence after pleading to a lesser charge.

She will also have to give up teaching.

Stephanie Adams, 40, was arrested in July 2014 on a charge of touching a child for lustful purposes after the start of an investigation that started when the parents of a then 17-year-old student reportedly read text messages exchanged between the student and Adams, according to police at the time. She was later indicted on the charge.

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But in a court order filed Monday, Adams pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge of simple assault.

The state prosecutor in the case recommended “that the guilty plea to that misdemeanor charge be accepted in the interest of justice and foregoing any and all further prosecution of Stephanie Adams,” according to the order.

In the order, Judge Forrest “Al” Johnson sentenced Adams to six months in the Adams County jail, but suspended the sentence and placed her one one-year supervised probation.

Adams was also ordered to pay court costs in the amount of $247.75 within 30 days and to notify the Mississippi State Board of Education and the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools that she will be surrendering her teaching credentials and certificates.

The order states she must provide the court with proof of notifying the education boards.

The case was prosecuted by the Mississippi State Attorney General’s Office. The Adams County District Attorney’s Office was recused from the matter because Assistant District Attorney Tim Cotton had represented Adams prior to his appointment as an assistant district attorney.

District Attorney Ronnie Harper said Tuesday he wasn’t aware the case had reached a final disposition.

“(The attorney general’s office) had no reason or obligation to update us about it, and it would probably be improper for me to be involved or notified about it,” he said. “The case was up to those guys, and how they handle it is the way they handle it.”

The maximum sentence for simple assault is six months in jail and a $500 fine.