Teacher Pleads Guilty To Sex Assault Charges

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A teacher accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old student has pleaded guilty to sexual assault.

Terah Rawlings entered the guilty plea during a pre-trial readiness conference Thursday. Her trial was scheduled for February 4.

Rawlings was arrested in November 2011 on allegations that she had sex with a student numerous times between fall of 2007 and summer of 2008. The student was a sophomore at Hilltop Baptist School, where Rawlings taught, when the sexual encounters first started.

Rawlings' uncle Franklin "Wayne" Knight, Rawling's father Raymond "Allen" Knight, and former Hilltop Baptist School principal Jan Ocvirk, 51, were also arrested in November 2011 for not reporting the abuse to the proper authorities. Wayne Knight, the senior pastor at Hilltop Baptist Church and a former superintendent of the school, was also charged with accessory to a crime. Authorities said he "displayed a consistent pattern to manipulate and control the situation--not only among the faculty at Hilltop Baptist School--but also among parent, church members and students.”

For the original story published November 2011, click here.

The Hilltop Baptist School was closed in May at the end of the 2010-2011 school year. A source at the church estimated they had more than 100 students. The El Paso County Sheriff's Office said the closure was unrelated to the sexual assault investigation.

Rawlings will be sentenced April 25.

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