Teacher accused of having sex with student won't have jury trial

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SALT LAKE CITY -- A West High teacher accused of having sex with a female student will have a bench trial.

A judge, not a jury, will hear the case against Jose Fanjul. The decision came Friday morning after the defense agreed to drop a motion to dismiss the case.

Fanjul's lawyers were planning to file that motion because of some pre-trial publicity that they say would have tainted a jury.

They say they have confidence in the judge. Attorney Ken Brown said, "We just think she's going to be fair, and we're very satisfied with her making the decision in this case."

Brown added, "Sure, it's a different audience, but the burden of proof is the same."

Alicia Cook, deputy district attorney for Salt Lake County, said, "At the end of the day it's the same proceeding. The state has to present evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. They have to bring witnesses. There will be opening statements, a closing statements. It's a trial."

A three-day bench trial has been scheduled for next month.

E-mail: mrichards@ksl.com

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