Ex-Winside teacher gets 2 years prison for having sex with student

WAYNE, Neb. — A former Winside Public Schools teacher was sentenced Wednesday to two years in prison for having sex with a 17-year-old male high school student.

Cali Heikes, 26, of Winside, faced up to six years in prison after pleading guilty in July in Wayne County District Court to a reduced charge of criminal attempt — first-degree sexual abuse by a school employee and one count of second-degree sexual abuse by a school employee.

Both charges had sentencing ranges of zero to three years in prison. District Judge Mark Johnson sentenced Heikes to two years on each charge. As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors recommended the sentences be served concurrently, or at the same time. A second count of second-degree sexual abuse by a school employee was dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

After completing her prison sentence, Heikes will serve 18 months of post-release supervision and must register with the Nebraska Sex Offender Registry.

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Heikes was arrested Jan. 22 after the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office investigated a tip about her ongoing relationship with the student. Heikes later submitted her resignation as a family consumer science teacher and librarian.

She was the second Winside teacher sentenced this year for having inappropriate contact with a student.

Rachel McPhillips, 29, of Norfolk, Nebraska, who taught art at Winside, was sentenced in April to 180 days in jail and two years’ probation on charges of disturbing the peace and attempted child abuse. She was charged with having sexual contact with a 15-year-old male student.

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