Wallace professor who had sex with girl sentenced to prison

This week marks one year since Professor Kimberly Sonanstine taught her final class at Wallace College. On October 5, 2021, she was taken by officers from the campus to the Dale County Jail.
On October 5, 2021, she was charged with dozens of sex crimes involving an underage girl.
Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 5:23 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - This week marks one year since Professor Kimberly Sonanstine taught her final biology class at Wallace College.

On October 5, 2021, she was charged with dozens of sex crimes involving an underage girl.

Dale County Circuit Judge Kimberly Clark‐Crawford sentenced Sonanstine on Tuesday to three years in an Alabama prison followed by five years’ probation.

She pleaded guilty last month.

Sonanstine’s attorneys had hoped for probation and said even if she escaped a prison sentence she would still be punished.

She must register as a sex offender and won’t be allowed to teach in the future, attorney Raynor Clifton told Judge Kimberly Clark‐Crawford.

Sonanstine’s husband also testified that the couple’s marriage is stronger now than it has ever been and a longtime friend urged the judge not to lock her up.

But the victim’s family asked for the maximum sentence, telling Judge Crawford how the molestation has affected them.

Sonanstine, a leader in the church both attended, began the relationship when the victim was about 13.

District Attorney Kirke Adams said this case touched him in a personal way because he watched the victim grow up.

“Sometimes I wonder why I still do this (job). This case is why,” said District Attorney Kirke Adams, who pursued a stiff penalty.

The way Judge Crawford structured the sentence, Sonanstine must serve the full three years with no chance of parole or early release.

She could be returned to prison if she violates her probation afterwards.

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