PROVO — A former Provo High teacher accused of sexually abusing a student pleaded guilty to five felony charges on Thursday.

Donald Bills, 56, pleaded guilty to two first-degree felony counts, two second-degree felony counts and a third-degree felony count. He could spend up to life in prison.

According to official documents, Bills was arrested in January 2014 after a friend of the victim saw graphic texts from Bills on the victim’s phone. The friend reported the incident to school administration who then reported it to police.

Detectives with the Provo Police Department said the inappropriate relationship between Bills and the victim began in December 2013 and the student was sexually abused multiple times during and after school hours.

Bills was a teacher and athletic trainer for various sports teams at the school, though as of May 2014, he was no longer working for the Provo City School District.

Daily Herald reporter Danielle Downs can be reached at (801) 344-2549 or at