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Teacher charged in sex scandal headed for trial



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FARMINGTON -- A former Bountiful Jr. High School teacher accused of carrying on a sexual relationship with a teenage boy is apparently headed for trial.

During an appearance in 2nd District Court Monday, an attorney for Valynne Bowers, 40, indicated there would not be a plea deal, citing "legal issues" that have complicated the case.

Outside of court, Bowers' attorney Richard Gallegos said Davis County prosecutors had offered Bowers a chance to plead "straight up" to first-degree felony charges of rape and sodomy. Bowers apparently rejected the deal, believing the facts of the case did not match the charges.

Gallegos said prosecutors offered Bowers a chance to plead guilty to the original charges of rape and forcible sodomy, both first-degree felonies. But Gallegos says the charges don't fit the crime. "I certainly don't think there's any coercion or duress or lack of consent on the alleged victim's part," he said.

He plans to ask the court to look at the statute, which says the teen could not consent to sex because Bowers held a special position of trust with the him.

Gallegos noted the alleged victim was not in Bowers' class when she began the relationship with him, nor did it happen at school.

Gallegos planned to file court motions to challenge the enhancement. He would not rule out calling the teenage boy to the witness stand, telling reporters that under testimony, facts of the case might change.

Bowers marched out of the courthouse, refusing to speak.

Bowers is one of two teachers accused of having sex with the same teenage student.

The other teacher, Linda Nef, 46, struck a plea deal with prosecutors earlier this month. She's expected to be sentenced on July 21.

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Compiled with information from Ben Winslow and Sandra Yi.

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