FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 23, 2014
Executive Assistant for Scott Ellington,
Second Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney
JURY CONVICTS FORMER TEACHER OF SEXUAL ASSUALT OF STUDENT
School teacher fathered a child with his then-15-year-old student
HARRISBURG, ARK. – Scott Ellington, Prosecuting Attorney for the Second Judicial District of Arkansas, announces that Poinsett County jurors convicted Danny Shane Akers, 40, of Trumann Wednesday of sexually assaulting a former student and fathering her child following a three day jury trial at the Poinsett County Courthouse in Harrisburg.
Circuit Judge John Fogleman of Marion followed the jury’s recommendation and sentenced Akers to 25 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections and a $25,000 fine after the jury convicted him of one (1) count of first-degree sexual assault and a single count of fourth-degree sexual assault.
“Teachers have a duty to protect children, not abuse them,” Ellington said. “This 15-year-old victim was vulnerable and Danny Akers took advantage of her. We are pleased that the jury has held Mr. Akers accountable for his crimes.”
Ellington said Poinsett County Deputy Prosecuting Attorneys Jimmy Gazaway and David Boling tried the case against the former school teacher, who admitted that he fathered a child with the then 15-year-old student, whom he taught at Trumann High School. An Arkansas State Crime Lab report indicated that the there was a 99.999% probability that Akers was the father of the victim’s child.
Akers taught English at Trumann from 2007 until his resignation in 2012 when the allegations surfaced. Trumann Police Lt. Lenny Becker investigated the accusations and arrested Akers in February 2013 on suspicion of first-degree sexual assault. Ellington said his office added a charge of fourth-degree sexual assault after reviewing the case.
Ellington praised Gazaway, Boling and victim/witness advocate Liz Wagner for their excellent trial work prosecuting the case, as well as Lt. Becker and Trumann police for their efforts investigating the matter.
Akers was represented by attorney Martin Lilly of Jonesboro.