A former Spanish teacher at Two Rivers High School was convicted of two misdemeanor counts of sexual intercourse with a child age 16 or older during a plea hearing Wednesday.
Rebecca L. Kilps, a 35-year-old Manitowoc woman, was originally charged with three felony counts of sexual assault of a student by school staff. In a plea agreement, two of those counts were changed to misdemeanors and the other felony charge was kept with a deferred judgment agreement.
Kilps Arrested After Husband Found Inappropriate Texts on Her Phone
Kilps was arrested in May after it was revealed she was having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student. Kilps' husband had called the police before Kilps was arrested, and claimed he had looked through her phone while she was sleeping and found messages between Kilps and the victim "talking about a future together and saying they love each other" and "talking sexually," according to the criminal complaint.
Investigators spoke to the teen, who said he met Kilps in Spanish class. During his junior year, he said he would start going to her classroom after school and hanging out. They started private messaging each other. In March, things "escalated and we talked more and said what we shouldn't have," he said.
The victim said they had sex twice on the couch at Kilps' home. Both times were late on a Saturday night while her husband "was with his band performing."
When detectives talked to Rebecca, she said she realized in October 2021 that the victim "meant more than a student should to her but she kept it to herself." During the interview, she admitted to having sex with the victim twice, according to the complaint. She confirmed it happened when her husband was out of the home.
Kilps Sentenced to 3 Months in Jail
Kilps resigned from her position at the Two Rivers School District and relinquished her teaching license in the wake of the allegations.
On the two misdemeanor counts of sexual intercourse with a child 16 or older, Kilps' sentence was withheld and she was placed on probation for three years. As a condition of her probation, Kilps will serve three months in county jail, with another six months stayed.
Other conditions of her probation include continuing with counseling, completing a psychosexual evaluation, having no contact with the victim or anyone younger than 18, except for her own child.
In a statement by Kilps during the hearing on Wednesday, she said the victim was an innocent bystander "during a time of my life of deep sadness ... he never deserved to experience what he did at such a young age, especially from a teacher who he trusted and turned to for guidance."
"My guilty and shameful heart has been carrying around the burden on my actions for what seems like an eternity," Kilps said Wednesday. "It's with that time that I've been able to process the true gravity of my decision and the hurt that I have caused to so many."