Shelby County Superintendent: Schools Aiding Police after Ex-Teacher Charged with Sex Abuse

By Veronica Kennedy
Birmingham News
January 6, 2012

Daniel Acker Jr.

ALABASTER, Alabama -- Shelby County School Superintendent Randy Fuller said Thursday he is stunned that a retired Alabaster teacher told police he had sexually molested more than 20 of his former students.

Alabaster police arrested Daniel Montague Acker Jr., 49, Wednesday and charged him with three counts of first-degree child sexual abuse. He is in the Shelby County Jail on $225,000 bond.

"We can only say that the allegations are shocking," Fuller said. "We, as a school district, understand that child abuse is horrible with devastating consequences to victims and their families.

"We are cooperating with the Alabaster Police Department in their investigation," said Fuller. "Steps have been taken to make sure he is not used in any employment capacity in the Shelby County School System until this matter is brought to full and final conclusion. We have also communicated with Dr. Tommy Bice, State Superintendent of Education, to make him aware of this situation.

"We understand that these allegations will be very troubling to anyone who might have a past association with the accused individual," Fuller said.

Acker, a retired fourth-grade teacher, taught for 25 years at three Alabaster schools.

He was arrested after he confessed to an allegation by a 12-year-old former student that he molested her three times when she was in his fourth-grade class at Thompson Intermediate School in 2009, according to Curtis Rigney, deputy police chief in Alabaster.

Rigney said Acker also confessed to molesting more than 20 other female children during his tenure at three Alabaster schools over his 25-year teaching career. Those schools were Thompson Elementary (1985-1991), Creek View Elementary (1991-2000) and Thompson Intermediate (2000-2009).

During his teaching career, Acker also drove a school bus. Upon his retirement as a teacher, he continued to work for the county school system as a substitute bus driver.

Rigney said the police department is working with the school board and the state Department of Human Resources.

This is the second time Acker, the son of Shelby County Commissioner Dan Acker, has been under investigation in an alleged sexual molestation case.

In 1992, the younger Acker, then a 30-year-old youth minister at Westwood Baptist Church and a fourth-grade teacher at Thompson Elementary, was charged after a neighbor's child who was in his class said Acker had touched her improperly at her home.

The school board suspended Acker with pay until the case was decided. A grand jury declined to indict him on the charge, and the school board decided to reinstate him after a full day of hearings.

On Thursday, Commissioner Acker said his son's lawyer, Barry Alvis, advised the family not to comment.

Efforts to reach Alvis were unsuccessful.

A popular teacher among students and co-workers, Acker was named Teacher of the Year at Creek View Elementary in 1993 -- while he was suspended. He was a candidate for Shelby County Teacher of the Year.

In the latest case, the child, now about 12, said Acker molested her in the presence of other children, according to Rigney. The deputy chief said he didn't know if other children saw the incident.

Rigney called Acker's actions "despicable," and said he expected other charges to be forthcoming. He asked that anyone with any information regarding the case call the Alabaster Police Department at 663-7401.


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