Lee Co., Ala. (WRBL) – The case against a former Beauregard High School teacher accused of having sex with a 15-year-old student will go before a Lee County Grand Jury after a probable cause hearing Wednesday.
Camera’s were not allowed inside Judge Russell Bush’s courtroom to protect the juvenile witnesses who testified at Wednesday’s probable cause hearing. 24-year-old Hunter Armstrong faces a Class B Felony charge of a School Employee Engaging in a Sex Act with a Student and other charges.
The judge decided there is enough evidence against the former Beauregard high school teacher to send the case to a grand jury. The 2-hour hearing was uncomfortable as the victim and friend testified to going to Armstrong’s Auburn apartment back in May, where they allege he provided them with marijuana and smoked it with them, later having sexual relations with one of the students.
The relationship was discovered by the victim’s mother through Snap Chat messages between the teacher and student. The mom reporting those messages to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office for them to investigate and deciding to make the arrest.
Armstrong resigned as a 9th-grade history teacher at Beauregard, where he also coached.
PREVIOUS STORY: New information is surfacing regarding a popular Beauregard High School teacher who’s been arrested after investigators say he had sex with a 15-year-old student. Investigators believe the 9th-grade history teacher also smoked marijuana and drank alcohol with other students inside his Auburn home.
24-year-old Hunter Armstrong was arrested on July 2nd and charged by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office with one count of a School Employee Engaging in a Sex Act or Deviant Sexual Intercourse with a Student Under the Age of 19 Years Old. The charge is a Class B felony. Armstrong faces three counts of Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor and one count of Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Armstrong has since resigned as a 9th-grade history teacher at Beauregard where he also coached 9th-grade basketball and was an assistant football coach.
By most accounts, Armstrong was a popular 2nd-year history teacher and coach. Some even defended Armstrong on social media after his July 2nd arrest. Brandon Hughes, Lee County’s District Attorney, addressed social media victim-blaming in an interview with News 3.
“This is a 15-year-old girl. She is a victim. The allegations are she was seduced by a teacher, who was an authority figure in her life who was in his early 20’s. She may not have known better, but he definitely should have, ” said Lee Hughes.
Back in June, the student’s mother discovered information on her child’s cell phone indicating her daughter had a sexual relationship with the teacher. Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones says the victim’s mother called investigators and reported the information. A search of the student’s cell phone led investigators to the evidence they needed. June 19th, during a search of Armstrong’s Auburn apartment, investigators discovered a suspected marijuana pipe and charged him with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Investigators also believe Armstrong used alcohol and marijuana with at least three of his students inside his apartment, leading to three charges of Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor.
“There are elements in this circumstance where alcohol and drugs or controlled substances are involved with children under the age of 18 at his residence, ” confirmed Sheriff Jay Jones.
Armstrong was arrested July 2nd in Dothan while visiting friends. Lee County’s School Superintendent did not return any of our calls requesting a comment on the arrest. Beaureguard’s Principal tells News 3 he was shocked to learn of Armstrong’s arrest and says when he learned of the investigation on June 15th it was decided Armstrong should be placed on administrative leave. Armstrong later resigned his position.
Late Monday, News 3 did speak with Armstrong’s attorney who says his client is innocent and is requesting a preliminary hearing. A preliminary hearing is the first real test of the evidence prosecutors have, and a judge will decide if there is enough probable cause to send the case to be considered by a Lee County Grand Jury. A preliminary hearing date is not set.
Meanwhile, Sheriff Jones says the case remains under investigation as detectives work to find out if there are other potential student victims yet to come forward. Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact the Lee County Sheriff’s Office at 334-749-5651 or Lee County Crime Stoppers at 1-888-522-7847.