A Texas high school teacher and mother of three was sentenced today to five years behind bars after a jury found her guilty of having sex with five male students, four of whom she had group sex with while being videotaped.
Brittni Colleps, 28, a former English teacher, was convicted of 16 counts of having improper relationships with students. Since the young men were all 18 at the time, she was not charged with statutory rape.
The jury did not recommend a fine or community supervision.
The case against Colleps has been filled with graphic testimony and cellphone video that allegedly showed Colleps having group sex with the four students in her home during April and May of 2011. The fifth student had a sexual encounter with Colleps on a separate occasion.
Prosecutors said the group sex occurred while her children and husband, an Army specialist, were away.
The video was shown to the jury this week.
Colleps's mother and husband both testified during the sentencing hearing after she was convicted.
"Have mercy on her as someone who has done nothing wrong except in that time period," Shirley Bush, Colleps's mother, said in court. "Have mercy on her kids; they don't understand this. She's a generous person. When I went through cancer she was seven months pregnant and she shaved her head. She is a loving daughter, a loving wife, regardless ofwhat happened in this situation."
Christopher Colleps, Brittni's husband, said that he was working to forgive his wife for what she did. Though the couple had engaged in legal group sex with other adults together, he felt wronged by her actions with her students, he said.
"I'm asking you to give her probation. It's not my fault or her children's, and taking her away from us is punishing us," he said. "Brittni saved my life before I met her. I was doing bad things and when I met Brittni she gave me someone to love and care about."
Christopher Colleps said the couple's children had been staying with his sister for the past week. The couple told their children that their mother "did bad things and might need to go away."
He said that the couple would work through Colleps' punishment together, whatever it was.
During the trial, students from Kennednale High School, where she taught and coached sports, testified about how the relationships began.
One of those students said his relationship began with an innocent text message. "Hey… It's Coach Colleps. Do you know what time the baseball game starts?"
Soon after that the student said that he and Colleps were exchanging almost 100 texts a day. The prosecutor said that the relationship progressed into explicit text messages and then an agreement to meet for sex.
One of the young men she was accused of sleeping with publicly stated that she didn't commit a crime.
"She said that she craved, that I had something that she wanted," said another.
The men were not identified during the trial.
One student testified during sentencing, telling the judge that he did not want to see Colleps go to jail.
"I don't want to see her do jail time, probation is enough for me," said the man. He said he felt responsible for what had happened to Colleps.