School employee charged with rape

Published 3:37 pm Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Butler County Schools bus driver has been arrested and charged with rape, 2nd degree, for allegedly having sexual intercourse with a 15-year-old female.

Gerald Hall, 50, was arrested on Wednesday after turning himself in to sheriffs’ deputies at the Butler County Courthouse.

Sheriff Kenny Harden said his office began investigating Hall on Nov. 2 after receiving a call from Superintendent Mike Looney regarding the suspect.

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“Mr. Looney notified us that he believed an employee in the school district had had inappropriate contact with a student at Greenville High School,” said Harden.

Hall also works as a custodian at GHS, said interim Superintendent Joseph Dean. Dean said Hall had been placed on administrative leave effective immediately pending the outcome of the investigation.

“We are cooperating with local law enforcement in this matter and we’d like to reiterate that this alleged incident did not occur on school property,” said Dean. “Also, Mr. Hall is innocent until proven guilty.”

Hall’s attorney, Brandon Sellers, said his client maintains his innocence. Sellers said Hall has been employed with the school district for 27 years and has served without incident.

“I have talked with him in great detail about this…these charges are shocking to him and his family,” said Sellers. “He’s ready for court and anxious to clear his name.”

District Attorney John Andrews said Hall faces upwards of 20 years in prison if he is found guilty. Rape, 2nd, is a Class B felony in Alabama.

“This type of crime represents a breach of trust between an adult and a child,” said Andrews. “It needs to be severely dealt with and we intend to do just that.”

Harden said Hall, as of Wednesday afternoon, remained incarcerated in the Butler County Correctional Facility on $20,000 bond.