KENNEDALE – Brittni Colleps, the 28-year-old Kennedale teacher on trial for having sex with five of her students, has been found guilty in a Tarrant County courtroom.
The jury took less than an hour to find Colleps guilty on all 16 counts of improper relationship with a student. The five victims were all 18 at the time, but it is a crime in Texas for a teacher to have a sexual relationship with one of her students.
On Wednesday, the prosecution showed the jury video shot on one of the teen’s cell phones of Colleps having sex with them in her bedroom. The next day, the state used photos of Colleps’ bedroom as evidence, arguing that the pillows and sheets matched the setting the jury saw in the video Wednesday.
The prosecution told jurors that Colleps would invite between four and five teens to her house for group sex. They would frequently record the encounters, but the district attorney argued Colleps was aware and allowed it.
The fifth final victim testified before the state rested its case on Thursday. He told the court that Colleps took him to her home after attending a Texas Rangers game together. The affair began that night.
The victim said the next time it occurred was after a spaghetti dinner at Colleps’ home with three other teens. After the meal, the teacher brought out some sex toys and tried on “form-fitting” lingerie.
The night became physical during a game of “truth or dare” in the 28-year-old’s backyard. The victim said Colleps performed sex acts on each of the teens while the others watched.
Colleps’ husband and three children were not around during the encounter. Jurors were told Friday that the husband was serving in the military at the time of the crimes.
A detective testified the teens recorded having sex with the teacher the day before police were called in May of 2011. Colleps had been working at Kennedale High School for less than a year when she was arrested.
After the state rested on Thursday, Colleps tearfully told the judge she didn’t want to go to trial, but a plea bargain wasn’t offered. The district attorney’s office said it didn’t offer a deal because it felt a jury of Colleps’s peers should decide the severity of the crime.
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 the 28-year-old 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.