PAYSON — A junior high school secretary has been charged with having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 16-year-old former student.
Montreia Barney, 49, of Spanish Fork, has been charged with unlawful sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old, a third degree felony, and obstructing justice, a class A misdemeanor, according to documents filed in April in 4th District Court.
Police believe the relationship took place during the summer of 2010, while she was a finance secretary at Mt. Nebo Jr. High School, according to the charges.
Prosecutors say the relationship began through a series of explicit phone calls and progressed to an in-person meeting in a church parking lot, during which Barney and the student were reportedly caught engaged in sexual activity by the student's brother.
At the time, Barney was 47 and the student was 16.
Deputy Utah County attorney Craig Johnson said the information came to light after the student described the relationship to a church leader during his preparation to serve a mission. The student was in high school at the time the incident allegedly occurred, but had previously attended Mt. Nebo Jr. High.
Barney told police in March 2012 that she never made any inappropriate phone calls and denied meeting the student outside of school. When police confronted Barney with witness accounts, Barney recalled getting lost on her way to a tennis game and turning into a church parking lot where she had a chance meeting with the student for two to three minutes, the charges state.
Barney is currently listed as a finance secretary on the Mt. Nebo Jr. High School website but Johnson could not confirm her current employment. A representative of Mt. Nebo and Nebo School District could not be reached for comment.