CRIME
01/21/2013 01:34 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2013

Leah Shipman, Ex-Teacher, Marries North Carolina Student She Was Accused Of Having Sex With

A disgraced ex-high school teacher quietly married the underage student she allegedly had an affair with in North Carolina. Perhaps the best wedding gift she received was from prosecutors who dropped their case against the newlywed.

Leah Gayle Shipman, 42, faced several charges, including statutory rape and taking indecent liberties with a student , from her 2009 arrest, that led to her ouster from Brunswick County Academy, according to WECT.

But the case dissolved, because she married Johnnie Ison in 2011, according to WBTV.

Under North Carolina law, a husband doesn't have to testify against his wife, WGN said. Without Ison's sworn testimony, the prosecution doesn't have a case.

Her affair with Ison allegedly began in 2009 when he was 15 years old.

If she'd been found guilty, Shipman faced up to 15 years in prison.

Shipman's 19-year marriage ended in early 2011, according to WSOC.

Six days after the divorce papers were signed she wed Ison. His mother gave written permission for the nuptials, because he was still a minor at the time, the Associated Press said.

The marriage became publicized now, because Shipman pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of resisting arrest last month, the Wilmington Star-News reported.

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