Federal judge denies class-action status in Ala. suit filed over teacher abuse

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BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — A federal judge has denied a request to expand a lawsuit filed by former students who say they were sexually molested by a long-time teacher.

WVTM-TV and al.com report U.S. District Judge Virginia Hopkins recently ruled against a request for class-action status. The judge says the lawsuit against former Shelby County teacher Daniel Acker and the school board can still continue and others can be filed pursuing individual claims.

The lawsuit contends officials wrongly allowed Acker to remain a teacher in 1992 after being accused of molesting a fourth-grade student, who is now grown and among those suing.

Acker was sentenced in 2012 to 17 years in prison after pleading guilty to eight felony charges involving six girls. Authorities say he confessed to molesting about 20 students during his career.

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