Former teacher and coach to serve 3 year probation period with possible jail time for transmission of obscene material

Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 2:06 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ala. (WALA) - The former Leroy High School coach charged with solicitation of a child and distributing obscene images to a child entered a guilty plea deal.

William D. “Billy” Gardner appeared in open court Tuesday to be sentenced on a charge of transmission of obscene material. Investigators said his victim was a 15-year-old girl who he once had as a student at Leroy High School.

According to court documents, Gardner waived the sentencing hearing and did not speak before the court. The judge sentenced him to a 10-year suspended prison sentence with three years of supervised probation and possible jail time if he were to get in trouble.

Under the conditions of his probation, Gardner must register as a sex offender and have no contact with the victim or victim’s family. He must also comply with any other conditions set forth by the Alabama Department of Corrections.

Gardner had taught and coached at seven schools in four area counties from 1999 to 2018, when his teaching certificate was revoked. Most of his time was spent at schools in Mobile and Washington counties but he also spent time at Baldwin County High School and Jackson High School in Clarke County.