A former Brookwood High School teacher has been arrested for allegedly having sex with a student after photos surfaced online showing evidence of a relationship dating back to 2014.
Joe Bradley Petrey was arrested on sex charges and booked into the Tuscaloosa County Jail on a $20,000 bond after he turned himself in to the jail on Tuesday.
Petrey was being investigated for allegedly having an inappropriate relationship with a female student who recently graduated. He was a football coach and social studies teacher and had been with the Tuscaloosa County School System since 2010.
The investigation centered on hundreds of photos that were leaked anonymously over the internet. The pictures portrayed the two in a sexual relationship while the female was still a student and Petrey was still a teacher.
Tuscaloosa County Schools superintendent Elizabeth Swinford was anonymously sent a link to a photo album with more than 700 photos and notified the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office, which began an investigation last week.
When authorities executed a search warrant, evidence confirmed a relationship between Petrey and the student dating back to the beginning of the 2014 school year, according to the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.
Petrey has been charged with school employee engaging in sex acts or deviant intercourse with a student under 19.
The Tuscaloosa County School Board approved Petrey's resignation on Aug. 3, before the investigation was completed and he was arrested, Swinford said.
Swinford called Petrey's arrest a betrayal of trust.
"We will not tolerate this kind of behavior now or in the future,” Swinford. "We had a lot of students that were totally disappointed. They looked up to him."
She added that things like this aren't acceptable in any form or fashion.
"We are trusted by parents that we will take care of their children academically, educationally, socially. The expectation of a parent is never to this level that anyone will abuse their children in any way and that is something that we are going to protect, the innocence of children,” Swinford said.
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