Teacher charged with sex with student posts bond

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

A 33-year-old Alabaster woman and former Pelham High School administrator has been released from jail on bonds totaling $90,000, and is scheduled to appear in court for a hearing in early 2014.

Bell

Bell

According to jail records, Catherine Michele Bell posted bond on Dec. 12, the same day she was arrested 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.

Bell was charged with the crimes after turning herself in to authorities at about 2:45 p.m. on Dec. 12.

Bell is scheduled to appear at the Shelby County Courthouse for a preliminary hearing before Circuit Court Judge Dan Reeves at 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 16, 2014.

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.

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.