Former assistant principal indicted on sex chargesPublished 4:11pm Thursday, May 15, 2014
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
A 33-year-old Alabaster resident and former Pelham High School assistant principal has been indicted on three counts of having sex with a student younger than 19, according to Shelby County Circuit Court documents.
A Shelby County grand jury returned the three-count indictment on Catherine Michele Bell on May 12, according to court documents.
Bell was arrested by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office on Dec. 12, 2013, and charged with three counts of a school employee engaging in a sex act or deviant sexual intercourse with a student under the age of 19. She was released from the Shelby County Jail on bonds totaling $120,000 the same day she was arrested.
Bell was charged with the crimes after turning herself in to authorities at about 2:45 p.m. on Dec. 12.
According to her arrest warrants, Bell allegedly engaged in sexual conduct with an underage male student three times between December 2012 and November 2013. The incidents happened at an Alabaster residence, a Birmingham residence and in a vehicle off U.S. 280, according to the warrants.
She was ordered in her arrest warrant to not have contact with the victim.
Bell’s arrest came after a Shelby County Sheriff’s Office investigation, during which Bell was placed on administrative leave before she resigned from her position in November 2013.
According to Alabama law, Bell’s charges are Class B felonies. If convicted of the crimes, Bell could face up to 20 years in prison per charge.