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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Former Bethel teacher sentenced in sex case

  • A former Bethel High School teacher who was accused of having sexual relations with a 16-year-old male student in 2012 was sentenced Thursday on two remaining felony counts filed in that case.
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  • A former Bethel High School teacher who was accused of having sexual relations with a 16-year-old male student in 2012 was sentenced Thursday on two remaining felony counts filed in that case.
    Wendy L. Hickman, 42, of Shawnee, appeared for sentencing in Pottawatomie County District Court and received suspended sentences.
    Back in March, Hickman had pleaded guilty to charges of forcible sodomy and soliciting sexual conduct or communication with a minor by use of technology, a charge stemming from text messages allegedly sent to the teen involved in the case. A second-degree rape charge initially filed was dismissed with that plea.
    Hickman was sentenced to serve a 20-year suspended sentence on the forcible sodomy count, court documents show, and received a 10-year suspended sentence for the soliciting count. Those sentences will run concurrently.
    She was ordered to pay fines and costs and will have to serve 200 hours of community service. She also was ordered to attend sex offender treatment for two years and write a letter of apology, court records show.
    “Wendy has accepted responsibility for her actions,” said Greg Pollard, who served as Hickman’s defense attorney. “She has and will continue to express her sincere apologies to the victim and the victim’s family, the community and to her own family for her actions that resulted in this case being filed.“
    Hickman was beginning her third year as a freshman English teacher when she resigned on Aug. 21, 2012. She was arrested the following day amid an investigation by the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office.
    Hickman was accused in the second-degree rape charge — now dismissed — of having relations with the 16-year-old Bethel High School student on or about July 28, 2012, at which time Hickman was age 40 and an employee of Bethel High School, court records show.
    In the count of soliciting sexual conduct by use of technology, Hickman was accused, between May 1 and Aug. 21, 2012, of facilitating, encouraging, offering or soliciting sexual conduct or engaging in communication with the same teen, who is a minor, by use of a cell phone and by sending sexually explicit photographs of herself to that teen for the purpose of instigating sexual contact, the charge reads.
    According to prosecutors, the law says a student can't consent to a relationship with a teacher.
    The investigation into this matter was launched when a Bethel teen and his mother went to the Pottawatomie County Sheriff's Office to make a report. The teen told detectives he had sex with his high school teacher at his home sometime at the end of July, the original arrest affidavit shows, with that student also reporting it happened just one time.
    According to court documents, Hickman was the teen's English teacher during the 2011-12 school year.
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