Cali Heikes

Second Teacher in Small Nebraska School Accused of Sexual Abusing Student

A Nebraska teacher has been arrested for alleged sexual abuse of a student, the second female teacher at the rural school to be accused of preying on minors in the past year, the Norfolk Daily News reports.

On January 22, authorities in Winside, a small community in northeast Nebraska, arrested 25-year-old Cali Heikes.

Heikes has not been formally charged, but court records filed as part of a search warrant show that police allege she committed sexual abuse by a school employee, according to KETV.

The court records indicate a fast-moving investigation. On January 20, a Wayne County Sheriff’s deputy received a call from a Department of Health and Human Services hotline alleging that a teacher was having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old male student.

Following the call, the deputy remembered a traffic stop earlier this month when he saw two vehicles near the Winside Cemetery. The deputy had conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle that was driven by the teen, who allegedly told the deputy that he was at the cemetery with “his friend Cali,” the search warrant states, according to KETV.

The deputy then spoke with a family member of the teen who said the teen would sneak around with Heikes for sex two to three times each week around the county. The family member allegedly provided the deputy with text messages corroborating her allegations.

Other family members allegedly said they remembered the teen asking “how they would feel if he was dating a 25-year-old,” according to KETV, quoting the search warrant.

Heikes is employed as a family consumer sciences and library teacher. School district superintendent Andrew Offner told the Daily News that a district employee arrested for an alleged inappropriate relationship with a student is on administrative leave. Offner added that officials are taking steps to terminate the employee’s employment, according to the newspaper.

A counselor has been made available to students.

Heikes posted $2,000 bond after her arrest and was released from jail pending further developments, according to the sheriff’s office. If she is charged with sexual abuse by a school employee, a felony, she could face up to 20 years in prison if she is convicted.

In May 2022, prosecutors charged an art teacher at Winside, 28-year-old Rachel McPhillips, with third-degree sexual assault and child abuse. Authorities allege that McPhillips had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old boy.

McPhillips has pleaded not guilty to the charges and her case remains pending, according to the Sioux City Journal.

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[Feature Photo: Cali Heikes/Antelope County Sheriff’s Office]