Trial set for former band director charged with sex crimes
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
A 40-year-old Alabaster resident and former Oak Mountain Middle School band director is scheduled to stand trial next month on several child sex-related charges, according to Shelby County Circuit Court documents.
Jeffrey Scott Atkins, who lists an address on Sixth Avenue Northwest in Alabaster, faces three felony counts of first-degree sexual abuse, one count of enticing a child for immoral purposes, one count of electronic solicitation of a child, one count of a school employee performing a sex act on a student younger than 19 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.
According to court documents, Atkins is scheduled to stand trial beginning on June 16 at the Shelby County Courthouse. The trial will continue “each day thereafter” until the case is concluded by a verdict, dismissal or settlement, read a court order issued on April 7.
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.
Atkins was indicted on the charges in September 2012, and was released from jail on bonds totaling $100,000 in May 2012, according to court documents. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
A school employee engaging in a sex act with a student and electronic solicitation of a child are Class B felonies. If convicted, Atkins could face up to 20 years in prison for each of the two charges.
Enticing a child for immoral purposes and the three counts of first-degree sexual abuse are Class C felonies. Atkins could face up to 10 years in prison per Class C charge if convicted.