A former Alabama high school teacher who stirred controversy after evidence of an inappropriate romantic relationship with a student surfaced has married that same student over the weekend.
Matthew Shane Wester, 37, married his former student Amy Nicole Cox, 18, on Saturday, according to public records. Wester left his teaching position at Cleveland High School after he was indicted in January by a grand jury on one count of sexual contact with a student.
He was placed on paid leave by the high school in November 2014 amid allegations of the sexual relationship. He has since resigned from his teaching position.
According to his indictment, he “intentionally and knowingly engaged with a male or female student under the age of 19 in sexual contact which was done for the purpose of gratifying the sexual desire of either party, to wit — kissing and spending the night with the victim," AL.com reports.
When the investigation began, Wester was married and had a child with his then-wife. The couple has since divorced, with his ex-wife gaining custody of the child.
Wester taught mathematics at the high school and was also the assistant varsity football coach and head track coach.
Cox graduated from high school this May. Her and Wester got their marriage license on June 8.
According to District Attorney Pamela Casey, the marriage may just change the way the case will be handled.
"I was provided a marriage license this morning out of Cullman County, which confirmed that they were married on Saturday in Gulf Shores,'' she said. "The charges currently pending against Mr. Wester stem from an investigation of his relationship with the victim while she was a student and he was a teacher.
"Now that the legal status of their relationship has changed," she continued, "we will have to look at our case to determine how we will proceed. Pursuant to Ala. Code 1975 12-21-227, ‘The husband and wife may testify either for or against each other in criminal cases, but shall not be compelled to do so.’”
Photo Credit: Blount County Schools via AL.com, Instagram