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Ladd Egan, KSL TV file

Utah high school teacher arrested in sexual abuse of student

By Pat Reavy, KSL | Updated - Apr 24th, 2019 @ 3:20pm | Posted - Apr 24th, 2019 @ 11:52am


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SALT LAKE CITY — A West High School teacher was arrested at school Wednesday and accused of sexually abusing a teenage girl.

Sterrett "Rett" Neale, 54, of Salt Lake City, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail at 9:15 a.m. for investigation of three counts of forcible sexual abuse, three counts of forcible sodomy and three counts of object rape.

Neale, a creative writing and language arts teacher, engaged in sex acts with a 17-year-old girl starting in March 2017 when she was attending West High, according to a Salt Lake County Jail report.

"All of this occurred in the suspect's classroom," the report states.

Beginning in August of 2017, after she had graduated, the girl said she would go to Neale's home and engage in sexual acts, according to police.

"The victim disclosed this would occur once every week to once every other week from August of 2017 to February of 2019,” the report states.

According to the Salt Lake City School District, Neale, who was placed on administrative leave following his arrest, has been a teacher in the district since 1994.

West High Principal Ford White sent out a letter to parents and students following Wednesday morning's arrest.

"This allegation is dreadful and, as parents, we know this will be of great concern to you. The employee has been placed on unpaid administrative leave and is currently in the custody of the Salt Lake City Police Department. The allegations against this individual are deeply unsettling, and we are committed to supporting the work of our police department in their investigation."

Ford encouraged any students or faculty members who need additional support to reach out to his staff so they could be connected with crisis counselors from the district.

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