Court date delayed for teacher accused of sex with student

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

An Alabaster resident and former Pelham High School administrator charged with having sex with a student will appear in court on March 3 for her preliminary hearing after her original hearing was delayed.

Bell

Bell

Catherine 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.

Bell originally was scheduled to appear in the Shelby County Courthouse for a preliminary hearing on Jan. 15, but her hearing date was delayed until 8:30 a.m. on March 3 to allow the court to “review the evidence and witness testimony,” according to the court order to continue the hearing.

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.

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.