Crime Ala. Teacher Imprisoned for Sex with Boys Claims Teachers Are 'Unfairly Singled Out' "School employees have been unfairly singled out ... for something that, at most, might cost people their job or their license in any other profession," her appeal asserts By Chris Harris Chris Harris Twitter Chris Harris has been a senior true crime reporter for PEOPLE since late 2015. An award-winning journalist who has worked for Rolling Stone and MTV News, Chris enjoys prog rock, cycling, Marvel movies, IPAs, and roller coasters. People Editorial Guidelines Published on February 8, 2018 03:15 PM Share Tweet Pin Email A former Alabama teacher imprisoned for sleeping with two of her students is appealing her conviction, claiming state mandates infringe upon her constitutional right to have consensual sex with anyone over the age of 16, PEOPLE confirms. In a recent court filing obtained by PEOPLE, Charli Jones Parker’s lawyers argue the 31-year-old educator — now serving three years in prison after pleading guilty in August to having sexual contact with students younger than 19 — should be freed, because state statute treats school employees differently from other people. “Alabama law does not make it a crime for members of other occupations to have consensual sex with 16-, 17- and 18-year-olds, even when there is a position of trust or authority,” Parker’s appellate attorney, Virginia Buck, argues in the brief. • Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter. Alabama Dept. of Corrections The filing further asserts that “a 65-year-old doctor, minister, therapist, or attorney is not subject to criminal liability in Alabama for having consensual sex with a 16-year-old over whom he has authority or with whom he holds a position of trust.” The filing further asserts Alabama law criminalizes “private, consensual sexual intimacy” and did not apply to private school employees until 2016 — after Parker’s arrest. In August, a Morgan County Circuit Court judge determined the law prohibiting sex between a school employee and student is unconstitutional — a decision the state has appealed. The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals has not yet issued a decision in the case. “School employees have been unfairly singled out and are being sent to prison for something that, at most, might cost people their job or their license in any other profession,” the brief argues. • For more compelling true crime coverage, follow our Crime magazine on Flipboard. Parker was arrested in 2016 when she worked at a private school. Her 33-year-old husband, James Franklin Parker, was arrested at that same time, also for having sex with a former student of his. He, too, pleaded guilty and has a sentencing date scheduled for June.