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Former Scholastic Teacher of the Year appears in court on charges of unlawful sexual relations

JAIL_KMBCc6c8_174 Steve Dunnin.jpg
Posted at 6:51 PM, Oct 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-27 19:56:41-04

OLATHE, Kan. — Keil Hileman, a middle and high school social studies and archaeology teacher, sat in a wheelchair during his first court appearance Thursday.

Johnson County prosecutors charged Hileman, a former Scholastic Teacher of the Year, with six counts of unlawful sexual relations.

The victims were students of Hileman, according to a court document.

The district removed Hileman from his classroom on Oct. 6 and placed him on leave.

The district said Hileman will not be returning to the school or the district.

With a classroom at Monticello Trails Middle School full of artifacts and an engaging personality, Hileman was a popular teacher.

He taught hundreds of students over the years, including Mark Dunn's daughters.

“We got a text message from our daughter who’s away at college and said, 'Oh my gosh, look at this,'" Dunn said.

Dunn and his family didn't see the news coming.

“He seemed like a good teacher, my daughters went to class, social studies, history by him," Dunn said. "We were really surprised and stunned by the news and the allegations that came out."

Hileman is accused of sexual relations with one student in the 2017-2018 school year and a different student in the 2022-2023 school year.

“It made me think of my daughters, both of which I think would have told us and come forward to us," Dunn said.

This is not the first time Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe's office filed criminal charges against a teacher.

“It’s, unfortunately, one of many cases we’ve filed against Johnson County teachers. It is troubling in that sense," Howe said.

Hileman was a Scholastic Teacher of the Year in 2004, nominated for Lifechanger of the Year in 2019, and featured in a video highlighting his work in 2018.

“Sometimes there are things happening at the house that make school not important, that’s hard. For some of my kids, school is the safest place to be," Hileman said in the video.

The Johnson County District Attorney isn't ruling out other victims.

“There's always a possibility, we’re not closing the door on that,” Howe said. "Make sure you talk about appropriate relations and appropriate touching.”

Hileman will get a public defender and be back in court next Wednesday.

Howe said Hileman could face 3-10 years behind bars.