Retired Alabaster Teacher Pleads Guilty

We think of teachers as responsible, caring individuals who have the best interests of their students at heart.  Unfortunately, not all teachers fit this description.

 On May 3, Daniel M. Acker, Jr, a retired Alabaster fourth-grade teacher, pleaded guilty to eight counts of child sexual abuse in Shelby County Circuit Court.  He was sentenced  today to 17 years in prison with no possibility of parole.  He will have to register as a sex offender and will be electronically monitored when released.

On January 4, Acker was arrested after he was accused by a student of inappropriately touching her.  According to Alabaster Police, Acker, 49,  confessed to abusing her as well as several other girls during his teaching tenure.  He has admitted to inappropriately touching 20 students and said that he couldn’t remember all of their names. 

He is charged with six counts of sexual abuse of a child under 12 and two counts of first degree sexual abuse.  In March, he was indicted on the eight sexual abuse charges.  He is currently being held in Shelby County Jail on a bond of $1, 045,000.

Acker had taught fourth grade at three Alabaster schools in his 25-year career.  After his retirement in 2009, he drove a school bus in a part-time capacity. 

In court today, Acker admitted to several specific instances of child sexual abuse. Between January and May 2009, he admitted to fondling an 11-year-old girl in his fourth grade classroom and fondling another 11-year-old girl at a 4-H camp.  He also admitted to inappropriately touching an 11-year-old girl while working as a bus driver between August 2008 and May 2009.  Acker admitted that he lied  to the police 20 years ago when asked if he had touched an 11-year-old girl who had reported an incident of him inappropriately touching her.  The victim, a woman now in her 30’s named Kristin Hurt, came forward to police again in the most recent investigation and was in court to see Acker sentenced.

Hurt said that she is glad for vindication not just for her,  but for all the victims.  She also commented that it was too bad his conviction didn’t happen twenty years ago because then there wouldn’t have been so many victims.