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A former Douglas County High School English teacher and softball coach accepted a plea deal in a Douglas County courtroom on April 24 after being charged in June with two felonies, including sexual exploitation of a minor. Brian Stebbins, 42, was sentenced to two months in jail.
Stebbins was arrested June 2 on charges of sexual exploitation of a child, a class 3 felony, and promotion of obscenity to a minor, a class 6 felony. He was released on a $25,000 personal recognizance bond, according to court records, and placed on leave with the school district, according to a June email to parents from Principal Tony Kappas.
A spokeswoman with the 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office said Stebbins was accused of exchanging “sexually inappropriate” photos with a student.
Stebbins pleaded guilty April 24 to count 2, promotion of obscenity to a minor, a class 6 felony. Count 1, sexual exploitation of a child, was dismissed as part of the plea deal.
Had the case gone to trial, prosecutors would have needed to prove all elements of the case beyond a reasonable doubt, including the allegations that Stebbins possessed or promoted obscene materials to a minor between February 2016 and March 2017.
Stebbins was immediately sentenced to 60 days in jail and two years of supervised probation. Conditions of the plea deal authorized Stebbins for work release during his sentence but included a slew of other requirements.
Stebbins is banned from contacting the victim during the term of the plea deal, will be subject to drug and alcohol evaluations, is barred from contacting anyone under the age of 18 without an adult present and cannot have access to firearms. He will still be allowed to contact his children without supervision.
District Court Judge Shay Whitaker also ordered Stebbins to complete a healthy sexual boundaries class and undergo 20 counseling sessions. His social media use will be restricted to comply with the terms prohibiting him from contacting minors without supervision.
The victim and her family chose not to address the court during the hearing, but the prosecution said the plea deal should not minimize the harm caused by Stebbins' actions, a sentiment echoed by the judge during sentencing.
“It is important that no one here in this courtroom,” said Whitaker, “forget the gravity of what was originally charged.”
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