Hearing underway for Fulton County educator charged with abuse - CBS46 News

Hearing underway for Fulton County educator charged with abuse

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FULTON COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

The hearing started today in the case of the former Fulton County educator who is asking for immunity in the charges against her, for allegedly abusing five of her special needs students.

Melanie Pickens faces 11 counts of felony child abuse. The alleged abuse lasted for four years.

The state used a dummy in court today to illustrate how special needs student Alex Williams was abused.

Pickens is hoping the hearing will grant her immunity from her upcoming trial in March.

Her attorney B.J. Bernstein called Pickens' actions necessary as an educator to do her job.

Alex Williams' mother Lisa Williams was in the court room. She told CBS Atlanta News the dummy demonstration was a game changer.

"You can read it and it can be described by people in writing and on tapes that we've listened to. But to see that and to envision that as my son, it's a whole different level," said Williams.

The defense did not want to speak on camera with us just yet, but told CBS Atlanta News off camera, "This hearing just started."

Both sides are slated to return to court on Monday at 9:30 a.m.

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