Acker indicted on sexual abuse charges, including two new counts

Published 12:25 pm Tuesday, March 6, 2012

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

A Shelby County grand jury has returned several indictments, including indictments on two new charges, against longtime Alabaster teacher Daniel Acker Jr.

Daniel Acker Jr.

Acker has been indicted on two counts of first-degree sexual abuse and six counts of sexual abuse of a child younger than 12 years old. One of the first-degree sexual abuse charges and one of the sexual abuse of a child younger than 12 charges were added to Acker’s original six counts after the Alabaster Police Department presented evidence to a Shelby County grand jury last week.

Alabaster Deputy Police Chief Curtis Rigney said the two new charges are related to two new victims who have accused Acker of molesting them.

“To date, we have six victims that have come forward, and eight charges,” Rigney said. “Our detectives would like to speak to anyone who was a victim or parent of a victim.

“This investigation will remain ongoing until we are satisfied that everyone who wants to come forward has (an) opportunity to do so,” Rigney added.

Police previously said Acker has allegedly confessed to molesting more than 20 girls during his 25-year teaching tenure in Alabaster.

During a grand jury session, the grand jury reviews evidence in a case and determines if there is probable cause a crime has been committed. If the grand jury determines a crime has been committed, it issues an indictment against the defendant.

Shelby County Circuit Court Supervisor Jill Smitherman said Acker tentatively is scheduled to appear for a hearing at the Shelby County Courthouse at 8:30 a.m. on April 2. The hearing date could change at the request of St. Clair County District Court Judge Alan Furr, who has been appointed to handle the initial stages of Acker’s case.

Although Acker originally was scheduled to appear at the Shelby County Courthouse on March 7 for a preliminary hearing, Smitherman said the hearing was canceled after the case went to the grand jury.