MILLCREEK — A junior high school band teacher from the Granite School District accused of engaging in sexual relations with a 15-year-old boy now faces 16 felonies.
Jeffery Luke Zawalski, 36, of West Jordan, was charged Friday in 3rd District Court with criminal solicitation and five counts of forcible sodomy, first-degree felonies; eight counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony; and two counts of dealing in harmful materials to a minor, a third-degree felony.
Zawalski, who was the band and music teacher at Evergreen Junior High in Millcreek at the time of his arrest, met his victim on the app Grindr, according to a search warrant affidavit.
Between May and September, Zawalski would meet the boy at a church by the boy’s house or an abandoned parking lot and engage in sexual activity, charging documents state. The two met five times, according to police.
Zawalski was arrested after police assumed the boy’s identity online and arranged to meet at a church parking lot, the warrant states. When Zawalski arrived at the parking lot believing he would see the boy again, he was taken into custody.
After the arrest, he told investigators he had also met two other boys online who were 14 or 15, according to the charges.
In addition, Zawalski is accused of soliciting explicit photos of the boy. Investigators searching Zawalski’s phone found 33 photos and two videos of the boy. He also allegedly sent nude photos of himself.
Zelwalski was a full-time teacher with Granite School District since August 2016, according to the district. Before that he worked at Rowland Hall and at a charter school. In 2006 he did some substitute teacher work in the Granite District. His victim did not attend school in the district.
Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsley confirmed Friday Zelwalski is no longer employed by the district.
Court records show Zawalski has no prior criminal history in Utah.