Teacher wants defendant mom to get help

When two Rigdon Road Elementary School students said they'd been touched inappropriately by a teacher, police immediately began an investigation.

What they found, though, was that a teacher never touched the girls in a bathroom. Instead, evidence pointed to their mother, Amanda Powell.

And the October 2006 accusation wasn't the first time she'd had her kids make false claims.

"They determined that the mother, Mrs. Powell, was putting them up to it," said Assistant District Attorney LaRae Moore at Powell's Wednesday guilty plea hearing. "The mother threatened the children."

The same thing had happened in January 2003, court records show, when Powell forced her children to make a similar report.

The 42-year-old pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of second-degree cruelty to children and one count of making a false report. She was sentenced to five years' probation and told to continue treatment, medication, counseling and mental evaluations.

That teacher told Muscogee County Superior Court Judge Frank Jordan Jr. that Powell approached her one afternoon as she was escorting students to a crosswalk. Powell walked up and started to "rant and rave" about her children being molested.

The teacher accused in October said Powell had disrupted a classroom one day, which led to her being escorted out.

"My prayer for her is that she get the help that she needs," the teacher said.

Powell's children are now in foster care.

Rachelle Hunter, Powell's attorney, said her client wasn't taking her medication when her children make the accusations.