Ogden district didn't protect student from abusive teacher, lawsuit claims

Ogden district didn't protect student from abusive teacher, lawsuit claims

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OGDEN — A former Ogden middle school teacher who would later be convicted of sexually abusing two teenage girls showed a male student a gun and said "he would do something he would regret" if the boy did not take and send nude pictures of classmates, a new federal civil suit alleges.

Attorneys for the boy's mother argue in court filings that the Ogden School District violated the civil rights of the now 14-year-old boy and failed to protect him despite a prior complaint. Another mother previously had alleged inappropriate behavior between the same teacher and her underage daughter, the suit claims.

School and district officers "were aware and on notice that defendant Drew Tutt was acting inappropriately to students in a sexually related way" and "failed to investigate the allegations or protect other students," the complaint says.

The alleged negligence caused the boy permanent emotional pain that requires treatment, the suit argues. It seeks damages to be determined at trial.

Sometime during the 2016-17 school year, Tutt, 29, of Plain City, brought the boy and three girls to his car and told the boy to look at a gun sitting on the passenger seat, according to the suit filed in Ogden's 2nd District Court in June. The case was transferred to federal court on Friday.

Tutt put the gun in the glove compartment and told the boy to take naked pictures of the three girls and send them to him, the suit alleges. The student reportedly told his guidance counselor what happened on Feb. 8, 2017, including that the teacher had inappropriately touched his shoulder and invited him to his home.

The counselor called police, the suit states. No criminal charges were filed in that case, and Ogden police could not verify the report Tuesday, citing computer problems.

A day earlier, Tutt was arrested and charged with sexually abusing girls who agreed to be his teaching assistants, and police asked other parents of possible victims to come forward.

As part of a plea deal with prosecutors, Tutt pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual abuse of a minor student, a third-degree felony. Tutt was sentenced to up to five years in prison in February.


In exchange for his plea, charges of seducing a minor by internet or text, a third-degree felony, and two counts of unlawful detention of a minor, a misdemeanor, were dismissed.

School administrators had first received a report of "suspicious activity" from police on Oct. 10, 2016, and placed Tutt on leave that same day, said district spokesman Jer Bates. Tutt resigned later in the day.

"We take the safety of all children very seriously and we'll always err on the side of caution," Bates said Tuesday. "In this specific case, the district will comply fully, as asked, throughout the litigation process."

The federal civil rights suit does not specify when the gun incident occurred. A police investigation into the separate sex abuse case began in October 2016.

One the teen girls, a former student of Tutt, told investigators that starting when she was 13, she sneaked out of her house four times to meet him, he kissed her body and she sent him topless photos, charging documents state. The second girl said she and Tutt hugged and kissed at school and she met with him about 30 times outside of school.

"Drew admitted that he knew what he was doing was wrong but it made him feel good and happy," the charges state.

Online records maintained by the Utah State Board of Education show Tutt was a special education teacher and his license expired in June 2017.

Assistant Utah attorney general Diana Bradley, who represents Tutt and the school district, declined comment Tuesday.

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