Former Oak Mountain Middle School band director pleads guilty to sex act with studentPublished 2:43pm Tuesday, June 3, 2014
By CASSANDRA MICKENS/Associate Editor
COLUMBIANA — A former Oak Mountain Middle School band director pleaded guilty to one felony count of a school employee performing a sex act with a female student younger than 19 in Shelby County Circuit Court June 3.
Jeffrey Scott Atkins, 40, an Alabaster resident, was sentenced to 20 years in prison, but Circuit Judge Dan Reeves split the sentence. Atkins will serve three years in the Alabama Department of Corrections with the remainder of his sentence suspended. Upon his release, Atkins will be on supervised probation for five years.
Atkins, dressed in a blue long-sleeve button-down shirt and khakis, was taken into custody immediately upon sentencing. Court security placed chains around his ankles and wrists.
Atkins also was charged with other felonies, including three counts of first-degree sexual abuse, one count of enticing a child for immoral purposes, one count of electronic solicitation of a child and misdemeanor counts of a school employee having sexual contact with a student under the age of 19 and distribution of pornography to a minor. Atkins pleaded guilty to the single charge in exchange for the dismissal of the aforementioned charges under a best-interest plea.
Atkins was arrested in Montgomery County in March 2012 after the Shelby County Board of Education contacted the Alabama Department of Human Resources and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office to request assistance with an investigation of possible inappropriate sexual contact between Atkins and a student.
According to investigators, Atkins allegedly had sexual contact with at least one student younger than 19, and allegedly exchanged sexual phone texts and social media messages with a student.
Atkins was employed with the Shelby County School System from 1999 until the time of his arrest, serving his entire tenure at Oak Mountain Middle School. District officials said he passed a criminal background check in October 1999 and had no prior incidents of misconduct.