State drops case for second time against teacher accused of having sex with student

Joe Petrey Jr.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The state has once again dismissed its case against a Tuscaloosa County teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a female student.

Joe Petrey, a former Brookwood High School teacher, was arrested in August 2015 after explicit pictures of him with a student were posted on the internet. Soon after the arrest, the State moved to dismiss those charges, but the case went to a Grand Jury and Petrey was arrested a second time.

Petrey’s defense attorney Joel Sogol says that prosecutors decided to drop the case because the student involved was not going to cooperate and testify.  Since the allegations broke, the student has moved out of state.

“It’s just odd at this point they say because of that they can’t go forward. I think the fact of the matter is that they knew she wasn’t going to testify and they held this case up as long as they could,” Sogol said. “But when push came to shove and the question came up were they going to try it or not, they couldn’t try it because she wasn’t going to testify.”

Sogol says that as a result of the case Petrey had to surrender his teaching certificate and cannot teach again, even though the case was dropped.

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