Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Former Nature Coast Technical band director pleads guilty to sex charge

Former Nature Coast Technical High band director Timothy Brightbill, 43, of Spring Hill speaks with his attorney out?side the courtroom Thursday after pleading guilty to having sex with a student, 17.

RON THOMPSON | Times

Former Nature Coast Technical High band director Timothy Brightbill, 43, of Spring Hill speaks with his attorney out?side the courtroom Thursday after pleading guilty to having sex with a student, 17.

BROOKSVILLE — A former Hernando County teacher stood without any outward emotion Thursday morning as he pleaded guilty to having sexual relations with a 17-year-old female student.

Timothy Brightbill, 43, a former band director at Nature Coast Technical High School, withdrew his original plea of not guilty and put his punishment in the hands of Circuit Judge Jack Springstead.

Springstead delayed sentencing until Aug. 20. Brightbill, a husband and a father of one child, faces a maximum of 30 years in prison for two counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor. The minimum sentence is nine years and two months in jail.

The judge let him remain free on bond after the prosecutor agreed to the defense request.

Prosecutors said the victim, now 18, does not want him to go to prison, and Brightbill's attorney is asking for a lesser punishment because he has no criminal history. The young woman did not appear in court, but her mother attended the hearing.

Springstead typically gives the minimum sentence allowed under the guidelines in such cases. He rarely, if ever, goes below the state guidelines, as Brightbill's attorney requested.

"We're hoping to push for more than the minimum (sentence)," said Assistant State Attorney Brian Trehy.

The defense filed a motion saying the girl was a willing participant in all of the romantic and sexual activity during the two-year affair. In statements made to deputies, the student said she was "in love" with Brightbill.

Authorities arrested Brightbill on Dec. 31 after the girl's mother found him in her house lying on top of her daughter, both in their underwear, according to reports.

Deputies said Brightbill and the girl, a former music student, admitted to engaging in sexual acts on two occasions, and Brightbill later resigned from the school.

At the hearing, Trehy dropped one the sex charges against Brightbill because the victim did not remember the incident in a May deposition.

Before his arrest in 2007, Brightbill was reprimanded by his principal, Margaret Schoelles, for publishing lewd pictures on MySpace.com, a popular social networking Web site. According to a note written by Schoelles, the teacher was also asked to remove his online connections with current Nature Coast students.

Ryan Strong can be reached at (352) 848-1432 or rstrong@sptimes.com.

Former Nature Coast Technical band director pleads guilty to sex charge 07/23/09 [Last modified: Friday, July 31, 2009 5:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Editorial: Hillsborough commissioners should revisit vote on Confederate monument

    Editorials

    It should be clear to those on both sides of the Hillsborough County Commission's decision to keep a Confederate memorial in place that the commission's so-called compromise doesn't work. The dignified protest outside the memorial on Tuesday reaffirms that the pain from this history isn't going away, and the commission …

  2. Protesters, politicians urge Rubio to vote no on Senate health care plan

    National

    TAMPA -- Even as experts struggle to grasp the cost and impact of the latest proposed replacement bill for Obamacare, Tampa resident Delores Grayson knows this much: "My medication is very important, and if they pass something I can't afford I might as well be dead."

    Florida Rep. Sean Shaw, joined community leaders gathered at the Mi Familia Vota Office on West Waters Avenue on Wednesday to urge Sen. Marco Rubio to vote against the Senate's health care repeal bill. [Times | Anastasia Dawson]
  3. Editorial: Rubio's VA reforms a step forward

    Editorials

    President Donald Trump has signed into law legislation that should inject more accountability into the Department of Veterans Affairs. The bipartisan effort led by Sen. Marco Rubio offers a combination of carrots and sticks aimed at making it easier to uncover problems and punish wrongdoers. The reforms should help …

    An effort to make the VA more accountable was led by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.
  4. Deputies: 34 malnourished cats seized from elderly woman's filthy Citrus County home

    Public Safety

    Citrus County deputies on Monday seized 34 malnourished cats they say were living in filthy conditions in a 75-year-old woman's home in Inverness.

    Citrus County deputies on Monday seized 34 malnourished cats they say were living in filthy conditions in a 75-year-old woman's home in Inverness. [Citrus County Sheriff's Office]

  5. Fishing company execs cut meeting short to fish from their balcony (w/ video)

    Bizarre News

    For virtually every other company, this story would sound ridiculous. But for Salt Strong, a fishing company, it seemed to be another day in the life.

    Luke Simonds poses with his balcony catch, a roughly three-foot snook. [Photo via YouTube]