Former Teacher Indicted for Sexual Misconduct with Student

A former Center teacher was indicted for 23 charges, all dealing with various degrees of sexual misconduct. After turning herself in May 30th, Janet Gallager Parker, 26,  was indicted for nine counts of sexual performance by a child, three counts of sexual assault of a child, and 11 counts of possession of child pornography. Originally, the total of the set bonds was $405,000. A bond reduction hearing led to a $75,000 bond, enabling Parker to get out of jail.

The evidence against the computer science teacher is overwhelming. It begins with a cell phone, confiscated at Center Middle School from a 14-year-old boy. What they found on that cell phone was shocking. Shelby County District Attorney, Lynda K. Russell said,  " There was some inappropriate material on that telephone involving that teacher."

Investigators learned the photos were taken at Parker's Shelby County home. They then looked on her computer and they found "people that were not clothed," said Russell. An affidavit said that in one photo Parker was nude and wrapped in a Rebel flag.  Investigators don't believe the photos were distributed on the web.

After questioning the former teacher and the boy their suspicions were answered. Shelby County Sheriff Newton Johnson confirmed sexual intercourse between the two occurred.

The alleged behavior was suspected back in December and certainly Center Middle School was pleased when Parker resigned. She had worked there for a year after teaching at Martinsville schools in Nacogdoches County.  Center school administrators are less than comfortable about the publicity the arrest has generated. No school wants for their community's children a teacher who is facing these kind of allegations.   Fortunately, no evidence of any inappropriate material was discovered on Parker's computers.

The child admired the divorcee and mother of a three-year-old. So did his parents. Russell said, "In fact, the mother thought she was the very best friend and they never believed it."  Until investigators showed them the evidence. "So they started plopping down some pictures of things that were on her computer and they were just horrified,"  recalled Russell.

As is the community.  Long time Shelby County resident Louise Johnson, and grandmother of grade school children, was given the news while selling fresh vegetables on the square. " That's terrible and she's a teacher. She should be taking care of our children and teaching them, instead of molesting 'em."

Parker's defense attorney, Tim James knows just the allegations is enough to damage his client. "That person will never be able to fully regain their honor simply because they were charged and they'll always be suspected no matter if they're acquitted or anything else."

Story updated from 5/30/07