Former Kearney teacher admits he had sex with student, changes plea to ‘guilty’

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Rhett Rigby

Rhett Rigby

KEARNEY, Mo. — A former Kearney, Mo., teacher charged with having sex with a 14-year-old student changed his plea from ‘not guilty’ to ‘guilty’ and is scheduled to appear in court in January for his formal sentencing.

Rhett Rigby, born in 1987 and from Oak Grove, Mo., admitted to having sex with the teen girl inside a classroom on two occasions at Kearney Junior High School, according to court documents. Two other incidents happened at the girl’s home, documents showed.

The alleged incidents began in the fall 2012 and ended in May 2013.

On May 14, 2013, school administrators learned Rigby and the teen were involved in the relationship. Rigby denied it, but the girl told investigators she and he exchanged nude photographs via text message.

Court documents also showed Rigby made the girl take a pregnancy test at school when she feared she was pregnant. The test came back negative, documents said.

Rhett Rigby

Rhett Rigby

Rigby faced four charges of statutory rape in the second-degree, four charges of statutory sodomy in the second-degree, one count of sexual contact with a student while on public school property and one count of tampering with a witness.

Rigby was an Algebra teacher at the school, but resigned after the charges.


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