Brunswick Co. teacher marries student, undercutting sex case

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by Associated Press

WCNC.com

Posted on January 19, 2013 at 5:29 PM

BOLIVIA, N.C. (AP) -- A former Brunswick County teacher charged with having sex with a student won't face trial after marrying the victim. 

The StarNews of Wilmington reports 42-year-old Leah Gayle Shipman pleaded guilty to a lesser misdemeanor charge of resisting a public officer. 

Court records show Shipman divorced her husband of 19 years last year and six days later married 17-year-old student Johnnie Ray Ison. His mother signed documents allowing him to marry while a minor. 

The marriage prevented prosecutors from compelling Ison to testify against Shipman. A spouse can't be forced to testify against the defendant in most criminal cases. 

Shipman taught at Brunswick County Academy when she was arrested in January 2009 on charges of sexual offense with a student, statutory rape and taking indecent liberties with a student.
 

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