Blount County teacher charged with sexual misconduct

Ashley Parkins Pruitt, 28, a teacher at Appalachian High School, was arrested last Thursday and charged with three felonies and two misdemeanors in relation to inappropriate contact with three students.

The charges stem from her alleged activity with the students during the months of September, October, and October of this year. The allegations are of sexual intercourse, oral sex, and the texting of nude photos of herself. Two of the victims are listed as students of the Blount County system under the age of 19, the other is listed as a student under the age of 18.

The charges are two counts of providing pornography to a minor, and one count of sexual contact with a student.

Pruitt, who is married with a child, turned herself in to authorities Thursday before 3 p.m. Her bond was set at $215,000 and she released less than two hours later from the Blount County Correctional Facility.

“I was shocked and surprised,” said Blount County Superintendent Jim Carr.“She had worked at four different schools for us and had done a good job at every place.”

Carr said he first heard of the allegations on Nov. 6 and Pruitt was placed on leave at that time.

“Ashley will be entering a not guilty plea to all charges,” said her attorney, Brett King.“At this early stage, like the sheriff’s department, we are still gathering information about the specific allegations. They remain just that – allegations – at this time.”

Blount County Sheriff Loyd Arrington referred all questions to Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey.

Casey confirmed that Pruitt was arrested, the investigation was ongoing, and no other information was to be released at this time.