Female North Carolina Teacher Arrested for Sexual Relationship with Underage Student

Brittan Phillips
Brittan Phillips Facebook

A Cape Fear High School teacher was arrested Monday for sex crimes with an underage student that occurred more than a decade earlier at a different school.

The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office on July 31 arrested Brittan Phillips, 49, of Fayetteville, for felony sex offense with a former student and felony crimes against nature, as reported by WRAL.

According to the arrest warrant, Phillips was teaching at Douglas Byrd Middle School in 2007 when the alleged assault occurred with one of her female students, who will not be named.

The student, who is now 32, testified in a January 2023 custody battle that Phillips is her former middle school teacher. The student said her sexual relationship with Phillips began in 10th grade, when she was 16, and continued until after graduation, when she was 23.

"When we started the investigation at the time, both parties denied everything and they were not cooperative with the investigation," Cumberland County Sheriff's Office Lt. Patrice Bogerty said.

Phillips took the stand in court earlier this year and testified the sexual relationship began when her student was 16. She later denied all allegations of a sexual relationship with her student, saying she was confused when she spoke in court.

"When this came about, it was during a court case and the judge brought it to our attention because it was reported to the judge at that time when they were telling both sides their story," Bogerty said.

Phillips was suspended with pay from her current role as English teacher at Cape Fear High School. She has worked in Cumberland County Schools since 2006, teaching at Douglas Byrd (2006 to 2007), Long Hill Elementary (2007 to 2017) and Cape Fear (2017 to present).

Phillips posted a $25,000 secured bond and was released. Her first court appearance was on Tuesday.

The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office encourages all parents, guardians and caregivers to speak with their children about inappropriate touching and appropriate relationships.

The district released the following statement: "We are deeply concerned about these allegations, which do not reflect the professionalism and integrity of the many premier professionals who work hard on behalf of our students every day. Our top priority is always our students' and staff's safety and well-being."