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After 4 years, trial begins next week for Utah coach charged with raping teen player

A jury trial begins next week for a former Provo charter school coach charged with raping a 13-year-old girl.

A jury trial begins next week for a former Provo charter school coach charged with raping a 13-year-old girl. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

PROVO — A jury trial for Charles Tracy Camara is set to begin next week, more than four years after he was released on bail and accused of sexually abusing and raping a 13-year-old girl.

Camara, 44, was a volunteer coach for two months at Walden School of Liberal Arts, a charter school in Provo, and is charged with sexually abusing a girl who was involved with a soccer club at the school. Charging documents claimed that he "befriended and groomed the child for the purpose of having sexual acts" with her between July 2015 and July 2016.

The girl reported the sexual acts during an interview with the Children's Justice Center and she said she did not consent to the actions, according to the charging documents. He is accused of first raping her in a car along the Alpine Loop on Sept. 28, 2015, and later raping her multiple times at his home.

Camara was charged in May 2017 with two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, three counts of rape of a child, and five counts of sodomy on a child, all first-degree felonies. He has pleaded not guilty to the 10 felonies.

The defendant paid a $50,000 bail and was released from custody on Oct. 18, 2017. The jury trial was initially scheduled for March 2018, and was scheduled again seven different times throughout the last four years. It was delayed for various reasons, including attorney conflicts, additional time requested for investigation, time for addressing new evidence and time needed to address Camara's motion to dismiss the charges.

During a court hearing Tuesday, the prosecutor and Camara's attorney discussed documents that will be filed before the trial, including an agreement between the parties regarding cellphone records. Because the jury trial has been scheduled multiple times throughout the last few years, the attorneys said they would be looking at the jury instructions, filed in February 2019, and may make some changes.

"I know it's taken four years, but you all look very, very prepared," Judge Thomas Low said.

The jury trial will begin on Monday, Oct. 25, and is scheduled to go through Nov. 1.


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