(AP) — A longtime Alabama schoolteacher accused of sexually abusing a fourth-grader has been charged with molesting a second female student.
Danny Acker was charged Friday with an additional count of first-degree sexual abuse. He was arrested Thursday on allegations he molested a student before retiring in 2009.
Police said he then confessed to molesting more than 20 girls over a long teaching career.
"This is not a one-time event," said Deputy Police Chief Curtis Rigney. "This happened over a period of 25 years."
Authorities have asked anyone with information to come forward. The district attorney declined to comment on whether the new charge was a result of that request.
An attorney for Acker did not return a message seeking comment.
The first girl to make the allegations is now 12 or 13. She accused Acker of molesting her around 2009, when he was a teacher at Thompson Intermediate School.
Acker taught fourth grade at three schools and drove buses in the Shelby County school system from 1985 until he retired in 2009. He remained on the school payroll as a substitute bus driver until this week, Rigney said.
He was investigated on similar allegations in 1992, but grand jurors did not return an indictment, Rigney said.
Investigators believe most if not all of the girls were in Acker's classes, Rigney said. But police are trying to see if some of the girls were students in other teachers' classrooms.
Acker's arrest stunned the Birmingham suburb of 28,000, where he was well-known and well-liked by kids.
"Everybody knows Danny," former city councilman Bobby Harris said, shaking his head.
Acker was being held in the Shelby County jail with bond set at $225,000. A jail mug shot showed him wearing a vest meant to prevent prisoner suicides.