After deliberating for 52 minutes Thursday, a jury of 11 men and one woman found former Moulton Middle School teacher Taylor Brooks Boyles not guilty of having sex with a student.
Boyles, 30, Lawrence County 87, Moulton, was charged with being a school employee engaging in a sex act or deviant sexual intercourse with a student under 19.
She was charged with having sex with then-high school senior Greyson Long, who did not attend Boyles' school.
The now 21-year-old man provided testimony in Boyles’ prosecution on Wednesday when he said they had sex when he was 18 and a high school student.
During testimony in Lawrence County Circuit Court on Wednesday afternoon, Long, who starred in basketball at Lawrence County High, testified they had sexual intercourse and oral sex at her house two times about a week apart in the spring of 2017 when he spent the night at her house.
On the witness stand, Superintendent Jon Bret Smith said he received a telephone voice message May 18, 2017, from an unidentified source, who informed him of the alleged relationship between Boyles and an unidentified student.
He said he met with the Moulton Middle School principal and Boyles later that day.
“We went through a variety of topics and I asked if there was any sexual contact and she admitted they had sex,” Smith said. He said Boyles named Long in their conversation.
“There was a sense of confusion on her part,” he added.
He ordered the principal to take Boyles to her classroom so she could pick up her personal effects before she was taken off campus. Boyles resigned that day.
Smith said he was obligated to contact the Moulton Police Department, Department of Human Resources and the Alabama State Department of Education.
Boyles, 27 at the time, admitted to authorities in a videotaped interview on May 18, that she and Long had a sexual relationship. While the five-minute video was played in court Wednesday afternoon, Boyles cried.
In the video, Boyles stopped answering questions from Moulton Police Capt. Adam Lentz and Lawrence County Sheriff Capt. Chris Waldrep and said, “I want an attorney.”
Four days later, she was arrested on a Class B felony charge, which is punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to $30,000 in fines, with a requirement that the convicted defendant register as a sex offender.
Long testified he had known Boyles for a number of years and he knew she was a teacher. He said Boyles knew he was a high school student.
Boyles’ attorney, Mark Dutton of Moulton, made motions for the judge to dismiss the case, arguing the school employee sex law was too broad and vague, and that it was unconstitutional.
He argued an 18-year-old in Alabama can vote and go to war, and that the age of consent in Alabama is 16.
Circuit Judge Mark Craig denied both motions.
“There’s no physical evidence,” Dutton said. “No dirty sheets, no dirty underwear. … No substantial evidence was produced.”
Boyles exercised her right to remain silent during the trial Wednesday.
District Attorney Errek Jett rested the state’s case 90 minutes after arguments began. The defense called no witnesses.
Because of pending bad weather, Craig adjourned early. Closing arguments resumed at 9 a.m. Thursday.
In his closing arguments, Dutton argued there was not sufficient evidence to convict his 30-year-old client.
Outside the courthouse afterward, jury foreman Samuel Todd Kerry told The Daily the state didn’t prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.