Sizemore pleads no contest to sexual abuse, is sentenced to probation

A former substitute teacher in the White Hall School District who was accused of having sex with minors and furnishing them alcohol during a party in 2012 pleaded no contest to charges in the case Thursday.

Marla Sizemore, now 46, had been charged with three counts of first-degree sexual abuse, a Class A felony. The offense is defined by Arkansas law as engaging in sexual intercourse or deviated sexual activity with a person less than 18 years of age who is not the offender’s spouse and is an employee of the victim’s school or school district or a person in a position of trust or authority over the victim.

She also was charged with six counts of knowingly furnishing alcohol to minors, and six counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, all Class A misdemeanors.

In a deal worked out with prosecutors and her attorney, Greg Robinson, Sizemore was sentenced to five years of probation on one count of first-degree sexual abuse and one year of probation each on one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and knowingly furnishing alcohol to minors, with all the sentences to run at the same time.

Prosecutors agreed to dismiss the remaining counts against Sizemore.

The charges resulted from an investigation by White Hall police into a party that occurred on or about March 9 and March 20, 2012.

At that party, Sizemore allegedly furnished alcohol to minors and and had sex with one of the students, a 15-year-old male.

After the investigation was made public, Sizemore was removed from the list of substitute teachers in the White Hall School District.

Other conditions of the probation require Sizemore to perform 120 hours of community service, register as a sex offender, have no contact with the minor victims and pay fines, fees and court costs.

Under Arkansas law, Sizemore would have been prohibited from living with her own minor children had Circuit Judge Berlin C. Jones, who accepted the plea, not made a specific finding that she posed no danger to those children.

As a condition of the probation, Jones required Sizemore to complete parenting classes and alcohol classes, which she has done.

A review hearing on Sizemore’s probation will be held July 1.

Sizemore had been set for trial in First Division Circuit Court on April 21. Had she been convicted of first-degree sexual abuse, she could have been sentenced to six to 30 years in prison on each count. Conviction on the Class A misdemeanors could have resulted in up to a year in jail on each count, and/or a fine of up to $1,000 on each count.

The state was represented by Deputy Prosecutor Cymber Gieringer, who was substituting for Deputy Prosecutor Karres Manning.