Vina teacher indicted on sex charge
The Vina school teacher arrested earlier this year for engaging in a sexual relationship with a student was indicted by the November grand jury, Franklin County District Attorney Joey Rushing said.
Kimberly Dawn Bynum, 29, 100 Regency Plaza, Apt. E5, Russellville, was indicted on one count of being a school employee engaging in a sexual act with a student under the age of 19, which is a Class B felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison if convicted.
Bynum was first arrested in June 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 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 even after the student graduated in May.
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 said Bynum turned in her resignation to the Franklin County School Board shortly after her arrest.
Franklin County District Attorney Joey Rushing said that 16 is the age of consent under Alabama law, but a bill sponsored by Rep. Demetrius Newton (D-Birmingham) and signed into law by Gov. Bob Riley last year made it a felony for a teacher to have a sexual relationship with a student under the age of 19.
“Based on the position of trust that teachers have with the students they teach, the legislators obviously felt that the age should be raised to illustrate the point that a sexual relationship between a teacher and a student can have serious consequences,” Rushing said.
Rushing said Bynum’s case would be set for arraignment on Jan. 4 and could be scheduled as early as the beginning of February for the criminal trial docket.