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 [email protected]

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. Romano: C'mon Rick Baker, tell us how you really feel about Trump

    Local Government

    A brief timeline of presidential politics in St. Petersburg:

    Rick Baker, center,  waves to drivers while holding a sign that reads "Thank You" along with his family and supporters.
  2. In St. Petersburg mayor's race, Rick vs. Rick is also Rays vs. Rowdies

    Local

    ST. PETERSBURG — Maybe before the NFL's national anthem uproar you assumed professional sports were apolitical endeavors. You'd be dead wrong in the case of St. Petersburg's mayoral race.

    Rep. Janet Cruz D-Tampa, left, Rafaela Amador, Tampa Bay Rays Senior Director of Public Relations, center, and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman talk with reporters during a press conference at Signature Flight Support in Tampa after returning from Ponce, Puerto Rico, on Oct. 11. (WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times)
  3. What we've learned from the Bucs' and Bills' playoff droughts

    Bucs

    Is it possible for the Buccaneers and Bills to be any farther off the NFL's radar? You get the feeling schedule-makers didn't think twice about putting this one down for 1 p.m. Sunday — the let's-hope-no-one-notices time slot.

    [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  4. Motorcycle driver killed after hitting turning car on Keene Road in Largo

    Accidents

    A motorcycle driver was killed Friday evening when he struck a turning car, Largo police said.

  5. Drive-by shooting near Robles Park injures four people standing outside in crowd

    Crime

    TAMPA — Four people standing in a crowd were hit by bullets during a drive-by shooting near Robles Park in Tampa late Friday, Tampa police said.