Police: Teacher had 3 victims

Published 12:20 am Saturday, March 5, 2011

District Attorney Walt Merrell and Police Chief Wilbur Williams take questions from the media Friday afternoon.

The Andalusia Police Department confirmed in a press conference Friday afternoon that there are three student victims in the rape and sodomy case against an Andalusia Middle School teacher.

Amy Kathleen Caudle, 31, of Andalusia, was charged Thursday with two counts of second degree rape and three counts of second degree sodomy. She is being held in the Covington County Jail under a $1 million bond.

Caudle’s attorney said she has cooperated in the investigation and denied the accusations.

“Mrs. Caudle … went to the police department and was interviewed prior to the arrest and denied the accusations,” Al Smith said. “She perceived the need for legal counsel and hired our firm. She will not have any further comment.”

Smith said his client surrendered herself to the police department when she learned warrants had been issued for her. A written statement he released late Friday on her behalf (see related story) will be the only statement from her aside from information entered in court, he said.

Neither school nor police officials would say whether or not the alleged victims are special education students.

District Attorney Walt Merrell said, “We want to do everything possible to preserve what’s left of the sanctity of those children.”

Both Andalusia Police Chief Wilbur Williams and Merrell said they believe there are only three victims in this case, but that the case remains open and anyone with additional information should contact the police department.

Williams said the charges are the result of an investigation that began several days ago and is being conducted by investigators from the Andalusia Police Department, officials from the Department of Human Resources and the Covington County DA’s office.

“The initial information that brought this matter to light is a result of the complete cooperation from the Andalusia City School superintendent’s office and the administration of the Andalusia Middle School,” Williams said.

Williams, Merrell and Andalusia school superintendent Ted Watson all participated in Friday press conference and each expressed a desire to limit information about the case in an effort to “protect the integrity of the investigation.”

Merrell said each of the charges against Caudle is a Class B felony and carries a potential minimum sentence of 2 years and maximum sentence of 20 years. Under Alabama law, she could be sentenced to serve time concurrently or consecutively if found guilty.

Law enforcement officials said Caudle’s attorney, Al Smith, has already filed a motion for a reduced bond.

Lt. Paul Dean, Sgt. Jason Curry and Sgt. Cody Warren of the criminal investigation division are handling the investigation for APD.

See related stories:

Attorney: Caudle ‘caught in fallout’

Officials: Schools’ reaction proper