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PLEASANT GROVE — Police arrested a Utah County teacher and coach Wednesday night accused of having sex with two 16-year-old girls.
Broch DeGraff, 27, taught kindergarten and coached boys' and girls' soccer at Liahona Preparatory Academy. Police allege the two separate inappropriate relationships, which occurred over the past year, began with text messages.
"It started over text messages and started over school related topics and that led to late night texts and it led to late night meetings," said Pleasant Grove Police Department Lt. Britt Smith. "And during those late night meetings is when the sexual abuse occurred."
Police say DeGraff groomed his victims by making contact with them after school.
- Be suspicious if an adult is interested in spending time with your child, especially alone.
- Teach your children about their body and which parts are private.
- Teach your children that adults are not always right.
- Always know where your child is going.
- Answer their questions honestly and at their level, even if you are embarrassed.
"He definitely fostered a relationship with them that was undoubtedly inappropriate," Smith said.
Police learned of the allegations two months ago, and parents of students at the school were made aware of an investigation of a teacher who had had sexual contact with a student.
The Liahona Preparatory Academy in Pleasant Grove is a small private school, based on values of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, teaching students from Kindergarten through 12th grade. The school is owned by DeGraff's father.
School officials say they are now focusing on helping the victims heal.
"Our student body and our parents are aware that it has happened and we've made some adjustments in our policies so that it doesn't happen again," said Liahona Academy administrator Kolleen DeGraff. "Our heart goes out to those involved, it's sad that it has happened."
The parents KSL talked to said that DeGraff's arrest isn't going to affect their children's attendance at the school.
Police say DeGraff refused to talk to detectives and hired an attorney. DeGraff remains in jail, and faces eight felony charges-- police say they are pursuing more serious charges, because he was in a position of trust.