A former Frenship High School teacher, Kandi Phillips, 30, was sentenced Friday to more than 8 years in federal prison.
Phillips was indicted and later pleaded guilty to a child pornography charge. Official records said she was interacting with a student online and the interaction became sexual in nature.
Earlier this year when the relationship became known, she resigned from Frenship.
The following is a statement from federal prosecutors.
LUBBOCK, Texas — A 30-year-old Lubbock, Texas, woman, Kandi F. Phillips, was sentenced this morning by Senior U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings to serve 97 months in federal prison, following her guilty plea in May 2017 to one count of receipt of a visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.
Judge Cummings order Phillips to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on November 10, 2017.
“I have no idea what makes a person – a teacher no less – think it’s okay to engage in sexually explicit communication with a minor,” said U.S. Attorney Parker. “It simply boggles the mind.”
According to documents filed in the case, between December 2016 through February 2017, Phillips was employed as a high school teacher at a public high school in Lubbock County, Texas. During her employment she began interacting online with a student at the school, and the communications turned sexual in nature. Phillips received, by way of the Internet, photographs depicting this minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative, which was launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals, who sexually exploit children, and identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/. For more information about internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/ and click on the tab “resources.”
The case was investigated by the Frenship Independent School District Police Department, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Lubbock Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Sucsy was in charge of the prosecution.