A woman who once worked with troubled teens pleaded guilty last week to having sexual contact with a 13-year-old boy.
The woman, 30-year-old Amanda Shantay Williams, was listed as a “counselor” at Three Springs, a juvenile facility for troubled youths that was once located in Madison, Alabama, but has since moved its occupants to other facilities throughout the state. Despite her job title as counselor, defense attorney Robin Wolfe told AL.com that she had no formal training for such a position and that her duties were more in line with a day-care worker.
Williams was first arrested two years ago, in July 2017, and charged with two counts of engaging in sexual contact with a student under the age of 19. At the time, she faced up to 40 years in prison and the requirement to register as a sex offender.
“Amanda, a counselor at Sequel, gave oral sex to several boys, all under the age of 19 years, at that facility,” an investigator wore in court documents, according to AL. Those records also confirmed that the sexual activity occurred within a two-month period while Williams worked at the facility.
When her arrest was initially announced, Madison police said she had turned herself in, according to AL.
After her first arrest, Williams went on to be indicted on four felony charges: “three counts of having sexual contact with students and one count of second-degree sodomy,” AL reported. Last week, Williams pleaded guilty to one of the sodomy charges in exchange for dropping the other three charges. She took what’s known as a “blind plea,” which meant she didn’t reach a prearranged deal with prosecutors about a sentence.
Even with that lone charge, she faces up to 20 years in prison and registering as a sex offender for life. Since Williams is a woman, she likely won’t get anywhere near 20 years in prison – if she gets jail time at all.
Wolfe, the defense attorney, told AL that Williams has no prior criminal history and should be considered for probation instead of jail. The outlet reported that Williams is a single mother and no longer working with children.
“She hopes the court will see that she’s taking responsibility for her actions,” Wolfe told the outlet. “She’s remorseful, she’s embarrassed and she has good family support.”
Being a single mother shouldn’t excuse someone from their crimes. A man would never get the same treatment in a similar situation. Yet it appears as though the Madison County district attorney’s office may also try to spare Williams from jail.
Assistant district attorney Tim Douthit told AL that he wasn’t going to recommend any specific number of years for Williams to spend in prison.
“It’s going to be the judge’s call,” he told the outlet.
“I feel like I shouldn’t have to say this, but don’t have sex with a 13 year old,” Douthit said after Williams’ court hearing last week.
If the sentences for other women who have sexually abused children are any indication, there’s a good chance Williams will get only probation for her offenses.