Alissa McCommon’s family is “experiencing some ridicule” after the Tennessee elementary school teacher was accused of raping a minor, according to her attorney.
McCommon, a 38-year-old mother of two from Covington, is accused of raping a 12-year-old boy in 2021, when he allegedly woke up to McCommon sexually assaulting him while he was spending the night at her home, according to an affidavit.
“She’s a human and she has a family, too. And there are victims, arguably, on both sides of this case, regardless of her guilt or innocence,” attorney Jere Mason of Huffman Mason PLLC told Fox News Digital. “She’s got two minor children herself. They’ve had to pull them out of school, and they’re experiencing some ridicule.”
Mason added that he knows McCommon’s husband “very well” after they worked as sheriff’s deputies together.
“My perception had always been they were good folks. And so regardless of her guilt or innocence, any person in this situation would be under extreme mental stress,” Mason said. “And I just have to defend her properly. I have to know that my client … is understanding everything and in the right mind of everything.”
A Tipton County judge ordered McCommon, a former fourth-grade teacher, to undergo a mental health evaluation, which Mason hopes will be completed in short order.
McCommon was initially arrested on Sept. 8 and released on $250,000 bond until she was rearrested on Sept. 28, when authorities charged her with coercing, harassing and stalking the victim.
The judge revoked a second bond for McCommon after authorities said she violated the terms of her release when she contacted the victim using a previously unknown phone number after she initially bonded out of jail.
In a recording of a phone call from the phone number played aloud in court last week, a person whom prosecutors are alleging to be McCommon suggests she is pregnant.
“I’m going to raise this baby. I can do this,” McCommon can allegedly be heard saying in a phone call with the victim that was played aloud in court on Oct. 3, according to FOX 13 Memphis.
Mason said he does not have any evidence to prove “one way or another that” the pregnancy claim “is accurate.”
In a text message from the phone number to the victim, McCommon allegedly wrote, “I’m just really scared. I don’t even know if it’s you or not … I will never text you again. You will never hear from me again, just please don’t say anything,” according to FOX 13.
In another text to the victim, she allegedly wrote, “This was a mistake, this is my burden. OMG delete this number, please don’t get me in trouble,” the outlet reported.
Mason does not believe prosecutors have presented enough evidence at this time to prove it was McCommon who called and messaged the victim from the unknown number.
“It’s not … a registered phone. It’s just some random number. They don’t have the phone or any proof of registration,” Mason explained. “So, they had these text messages. Someone in the text thread claims they’re Alissa, and then [prosecutors] tried to infer that there were some code words used that had previously been used by [McCommon] in communication with some of the juveniles, allegedly.”
Mason also alleged that the officer who testified it was McCommon on the phone call had only heard the suspect’s voice “once for a few moments” approximately five weeks before the hearing last week during which the recording was played aloud.
“This is a very difficult case for everyone,” the attorney said. “These allegations … are heinous, especially someone that we’re trusting with the care and instruction of our children. … But I just wish that the public would be patient and let the justice system take its course, and in due time, evidence will either come out or not. And justice will be served one way or the other.”
McCommon allegedly admitted in September to “communicating inappropriately with former students” through online video games and social media apps, where she apparently sent them “inappropriate photographs” and requested “sexual relationships with the victims,” police said.
The Covington Police Department initially began investigating the teacher after receiving information from the Department of Children Services that McCommon had engaged in alleged sexual contact with a teenage male student, according to an affidavit.
“The evidence indicates McCommon texted a victim, using a specific code word known to the juvenile as a code word McCommon would previously utilize to confirm that the juvenile was alone, often before sending nude photographs on SnapChat,” Covington Police said in a statement.
Authorities said there is no evidence indicating McCommon’s alleged crimes occurred on school grounds. The Covington Police Department is looking for any other victims who may have been in contact with McCommon to come forward.
Tipton County Director of Schools Dr. John Combs told The Covington Leader that McCommon was suspended without pay on Aug. 24, when a parent “brought forth allegations of misconduct” against the teacher that morning.
McCommon has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Nov. 27.
Police are asking anyone with concerns that their child may have been victimized by McCommon to contact the Covington Police Department CID at 901-475-1261 or the Tipton County Sheriff’s Office CID at 901-475-3300.