Elmore County Teacher's Aide Accused of Sex with Youth

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP)- A teacher's aide is accused of having sex with a 14-year-old girl enrolled in a program for troubled youth where he worked.

33-year-old Patrick Epkins of Millbrook was charged with second-degree rape following his arrest by Montgomery County sheriff's deputies on January 12th.

Epkins worked at the Intensive Treatment Prevention Center in Elmore County and the girl was one of his students, according to sheriff's investigators.

The center is a treatment program for youth with severe emotional and behavioral problems, including histories of sexual abuse, drug abuse and suicidal tendencies.

Epkins allegedly took the girl to a Montgomery hotel.

A school systems spokeswoman said he has been placed on administrative leave pending further action by the school board.

Montgomery County Sheriff D-T Marshall said his office began investigating the case in December after being contacted by the girl's family.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)