The band director at Chilton County High School is behind bars, accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a male student.
Ashlee Elizabeth Steinman, 29, was arrested Tuesday on two felony charges – a school employee engaging in a sex act with a student and using her official position to gain access to the student and carryout the illegal relationship, according to CJ Robinson, chief deputy district attorney of the 19th Judicial Circuit, which includes Chilton County.
The investigation began when Clanton police received a report of the possible relationship between Steinman and the 18-year-old student, Robinson said. Details about the alleged relationship have not been made public.
Steinman was booked into the Chilton County Jail Tuesday and remained held without bond Wednesday morning. She does not yet have an attorney to speak on her behalf.
Robinson said the investigation is ongoing. “We go where the evidence takes us, but we are very early in the process,’’ he said. “If the investigation reveals probable cause for more charges or, heaven forbid, additional victims, then we are ready to act.”
The charge of an employee engaging in a sex act with a student is a Class B felony with a range of punishment of two to 20 years.
According to the school’s website, Steinman has been the band director at Chilton County since 2017. She was previously a graduate teaching assistant at Troy University and a substitute teacher at Alexander City Schools in 2015. She is a graduate of Russell County High School and Troy University where she obtained her master’s degree in music education.
A court date for Steinman has not yet been set. Authorities are asking anyone with information about the ongoing investigation to contact Det. David Kline with the Clanton Police Department directly at email@example.com or at 205-755-1194.
Robinson praised the investigators for their diligence and professionalism. “I can’t say enough about the dedication and hard work of the Clanton Police Department and the cooperation of the Chilton County Board of Education,’’ he said.
“These are serious offenses and while we pray things like this don’t happen, unfortunately sometimes they do. When the public trust is betrayed, we want to act as swiftly, but as thoroughly as possible,’’ he said.
“The investigators on this case have worked tirelessly to uncover the truth. I hope we have found all there is to find. If there are more victims out there, please know that you are not alone and coming forward is the right thing to do,’’ Robinson said. “We have so many honorable people in Chilton County who have devoted their lives to being the best teachers they can be. Bringing those who use their position to victimize students to justice is the first step in rebuilding the trust of the community.”
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