FORT WORTH, Texas The high school teacher accused of having sex with five male students was found guilty Friday on multiple counts of improper relations with a student.
In May 2011, Brittni Colleps, 28, was charged after students at Kennedale High School began gossiping about incidents of consensual, group sex between her and several seniors.
Information got back to school authorities, who contacted police.
After hearing very graphic and specific testimony, the jury returned the verdict in less than an hour on Friday, according to WFAA reporter Jonathan Betz. Colleps now faces up to 20 years in prison.
According to an affidavit, Colleps sent sexually explicit photos and text messages, and one student s phone contained a video clip portraying sexual activity with the teacher.
Police say all the incidents took place at Colleps Arlington home in April and May 2011. She had been working at Kennedale High School for less than a year when she was arrested.
All the students involved were 18 years old or older. Sex between people over 18 is legal in Texas, but the state has a special law that prohibits sex between teachers and students, no matter what age.
Colleps did not testify, nor did her attorney present any evidence. During closing statements Friday, the defense argued the constitutionality of the crime, as each of the students were 18 during the affairs and bragged in text messages about sleeping with Colleps.
The district attorney, however, said Colleps was aware that her actions were criminal; even after one teen stopped a relationship, she moved onto another.
Before the jury was released to deliberate, the district attorney derided Colleps actions as disgusting, distasteful and staggering. As the jury left the courtroom, Colleps exited while holding her husband s hand.
Families of at least two of the students spoke out about not wanting the teacher to be prosecuted.
I think she needs help, and I think all I can do is pray that things turn out for the best for her interest and her family's interest and I can only pray that the best turns out for my son, to continue his future and his endeavors without this holding him back, said the mother of one involved student.
She pointed out that had the sex acts occurred a few weeks later, after graduation, they would not have been regarded as a crime.
Colleps is a wife and mother of three young children. Jurors were told Friday that the husband was serving in the military at the time of the crimes.
Her bond was revoked on the day of the verdict.