TARRANT COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – A former Kennedale High School teacher on trial for having sex with students was found guilty Friday on 16 separate criminal counts.
The jury deliberated for 40 minutes before delivering the verdict, one-by-one, to Judge Ruben Gonzalez. “We the jury find the defendant Brittni Colleps guilty of the offense of Improper Relationship Between Educator and Student,” the foreperson told the court.
As the verdicts were read Colleps, a wife and mother of three, stood silent. Her husband was is the courtroom and stood silent as well.
During the penalty phase of the trial Colleps’ husband, Christopher Colleps, admitted that he and his wife shared sexual partners in the past. An attorney asked Christopher Colleps, “Y’all did some things sexually together with other people. Is that right?” Crying, Christopher Colleps said, “Yes sir.”
Colleps’ mother, Shirley Bush, also took the stand.
“I’m asking you to have mercy on her as a person who has never done anything in her life wrong, except for that time period,” Bush said. “I’m asking you to have mercy on her kids. They need their mom.”
Before stepping down Christopher Colleps told the court how his children are suffering. “We told ‘em mommy did some bad things and made some bad choices and mama might have to go away,” he said, as he buried his face in his hands and began crying. “I’m asking you to give her probation, because its not my or my children’s fault they’ve taken her away from us.”
Colleps, 28, faced up to 20 years in prison. The jury sentenced her to five years in prison Thursday evening.
Colleps was on trial for having sex with five of her students. On Thursday, three of those students — all referred to with false names on the stand — recounted how the teacher would invite them over dinner, with sexual encounters soon following.
All of the boys were 18 years old when the encounters occurred. Most said they didn’t feel as if they’d been preyed upon and that they tried to keep the trysts a secret.
A student called “Jordan” in court told the jury he was the one who used a cell phone to video sex between Colleps and four students, including him. The teen told jurors he didn’t feel like a victim.
Despite the students’ feelings, prosecutors were quick to remind jurors that it’s illegal to have sexual contact between students and teachers.
Colleps never took the stand during the trial telling the judge, “I’m not going to testify.”
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