COFFEE COUNTY, Ala (WDHN) — Coffee County District Attorney James Tarbox has confirmed that the School Employee Sex case against a former Elba High School Secretary will not proceed.

In 2021, Martha Pope was accused of having sexual relations with a student under the age of 19 at Elba High School. She was charged with a violation of the School Employee Sex Act.

The order stopping the case from going forward came from Coffee County Circuit Judge Henry “Sonny” Reagan after the grand jury met on April, 25, and brought back a “No Bill”. According to the Middle District of Alabama, a “No Bill” means the evidence presented did not persuade a Grand Jury that a person committed the crime they are accused of.

Tarbox says that while the case against Pope will go no further and she will not have any charges against her, that does not mean his office believes she has been cleared or exonerated.

I truly believe she was arrested for a reason and this is how the process turned out. My office will respect the process.

Coffee-Pike County District Attorney James Tarbox

Pope, 43 at the time of the alleged crime, resigned from her position during an Elba City School Board Meeting in October 2021, not long after her initial arrest.

WDHN has reached out to Pope’s attorney Lee Knowles for comment.