Memphis teacher charged with sexual battery to face grand jury - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis teacher charged with sexual battery to face grand jury

(WMC-TV) – A Memphis teacher will face a grand jury on charges of sexual battery with a student.

Investigators said Sheffield High School Spanish teacher April Wade bought her student a car, moved him into her house, and carried on a sexual relationship with him.

The charge against her changed Friday, but the potential consequence did not.

A preliminary hearing Friday sent Wade's case to the grand jury.

"The judge held the case to state on sexual battery by an authority figure," said defense attorney Robert Parris.

Originally, Wade was arrested in late October for statutory rape by an authority figure after she was accused of having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student.

The charge shocked Sheffield High School parents and upset neighbors.

At the preliminary hearing, the 17-year-old testified that they did not have sex.  The teen admitted he did stay at her house, the slept in the same bed, and she bought him a car.

The investigator on the case testified that Wade admitted to inappropriate contact with the teen.

"She's asserted her innocence and we'll forward when and if there's an indictment brought down," said Parris.

Parris said they must now wait for the grand jury's decision while planning to fight the charge.

Court records indicate sexual battery by an authority figure is still a Class C Felony, just like statutory rape by an authority figure.

There is no timetable for the grand jury's decision.

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