A former Henry County Public Schools employee entered an Alford plea Thursday in Henry Circuit Court to resolve sex abuse charges against her.
Tara Nutter, who was employed as a bus monitor beginning in August 2015, was accused of engaging in sex acts with an 18-year-old male student. However, the charges didn’t stem from that relationship, which allegedly was consensual, but from engaging in sex while on the school bus where other students younger than could have witnessed them.
Nutter, of Pleasureville, was arrested in April 2016 for the offenses that allegedly took place in March. She faced two charges of first-degree sexual abuse and a charge of trafficking in a controlled substance for allegedly giving the 18-year-old student Lyrica, a schedule V narcotic, according to the arrest warrant.
Nutter entered the Alford plea to two counts of first-degree wanton endangerment. The Alford plea means she maintained her innocence but acknowledged that there was sufficient evidence that if presented during a jury trial, she could be convicted.
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The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office agreed to the plea in part because Nutter had no previous criminal record. Also, Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Josh Clubb said he had “no reason to believe … the other students witnessed the act.”
Nutter was sentenced to a five-year diversion program. She must complete a sex offender treatment program, have no access to a firearm or handgun, pay a monthly supervision fee, obey all rules of probation, commit no new offenses or violation of law, remain alcohol- and drug-free and pay court costs and fees.