Matthew Shane Wester married Amy Nicole Cox married this weekend, just months after an Alabama court accused him of carrying on an improper relationship with the teenager.
The 37-year-old Wester was the subject of a January indictment that accused him of an improper relationship with Cox, an 18-year-old who graduated from Cleveland High School in May. Now just months later, the two are man and wife, getting married in a ceremony this weekend, less than a week after the pair obtained a marriage license.
The story of Wester and Cox had been making headlines in Alabama, with the teacher facing hard prison time for his relationship with the teen. The court document accused Wester of “intentionally and knowingly engaged with a male or female student under the age of 19 in sexual conduct which was done for the purpose of gratifying the sexual desire of either party, to wit — kissing and spending the night with the victim.”
Wester, who taught geometry and algebra at the school and was also an assistant football coach and head track coach, was married at the time police started the investigation. His divorce was made final in April, just weeks before his lover graduated from high school, and his wife was given custody of their children.
Wester was put on leave in November and eventually resigned his position at the school. He was ultimately charged early this year for the allegedly inappropriate relationship with Cox.
But the case against Matthew Shane Wester may be in jeopardy now that he has married Amy Nicole Cox. Prosecutors noted that a husband and wife cannot be forced to testify against each other in court, meaning the case has lost its chief witness.
“I was provided a marriage license this morning out of Cullman County, which confirmed that they were married on Saturday in Gulf Shores,” said Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey. “The charges currently pending against Mr. Wester stem from an investigation of his relationship with the victim while she was a student and he was a teacher.”
Prosecutors have not yet said how they plan to proceed with the case, or if they charges may be dropped.
As strange as the story of Matthew Shane Wester and Amy Nicole Cox may seem, it is not terribly unusual for Alabama. School employees in Alabama were accused or convicted of sex crimes with students at a higher rate than other state in 2014, the U.S. Department of Education noted.
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