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North Sanpete High teacher under investigation in sexting case

By Pat Reavy  |  Posted May 22nd, 2018 @ 5:15pm


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SALT LAKE CITY — A former science teacher at North Sanpete High School is being investigated for allegedly sexting a 16-year-old girl at the school, according to court documents.

As of Tuesday, the teacher had not been arrested nor charged. The North Sanpete School District confirmed, however, that the teacher's "employment was terminated" earlier this month.

The Sanpete County Sheriff's Office is investigating inappropriate messages the 54-year-old man sent to a student, according to search warrant affidavits filed in 6th District Court.

The investigation began May 2 when the girl approached the school resource officer.

"The 16-year-old female student informed Sgt. Peterson that (the teacher) was texting her messages regarding him having sex with the 16-year-old student and how he would perform it," the warrants state.

The girl said the teacher also asked that she send him a picture, the warrants state. Two other students told the officer that they had seen the text messages.

Another affidavit says information technology employees from the school district "observed pornographic images of a female being sent to his iPad."

The warrants were issued to search at least two cellphones and two iPads found in the teacher's classroom.

The Sanpete County Sheriff's Office did not immediately return calls for comment. The Deseret News has opted not to name the teacher at this time.

Should criminal charges be filed, it would be at least the fourth case in Utah this school year in which a teacher was charged for inappropriate contact with a student, and at least the sixth investigation involving a teacher accused of enticing or sexually abusing a minor.

• In April, Kyle Hill, 32, of Provo, who taught third grade at Endeavor Hall in West Valley City, was charged with sexually abusing a boy in his class.

• Also in April, Duane Behrmann, 51, a teacher at South Cache Middle School, was charged with enticing a 14-year-old girl he had groomed for several months by engaging in sexually explicit conversations with her, according to court documents.

• In February, Joseph Scott Harris, 57, a teacher at Logan High School, was charged with six counts of unlawful sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl.

Another former teacher, Nathaniel James Park, 30, of Ogden, who taught in the Jordan School District, was charged in March with enticing a minor after allegedly trying to convince a person he thought was 13 to engage in sex, according to charging documents. The teen was really an undercover officer. A district spokesman said there was no evidence that any students in the district were harmed.

In another case, a man who taught at both Davis High School and Kaysville Junior High School resigned in March after police launched an investigation. The parents of a 14-year-old girl went to police after they discovered text messages between her and a teacher that were sexually suggestive, according to police.

Correction: The girl said the teacher asked that she send him a picture, the warrants state. An earlier version of the story incorrectly said he asked if he could send her a picture.

Pat Reavy, KSL
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