Former Teacher Sentenced to Prison

Former Teacher Sentenced to Prison

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VERNAL, Utah (AP) -- A former teacher convicted of sexual abuse of a child was sentenced to 1-to-15 years in prison.

Scott Harrison, 32, of Ballard, was remanded to prison after sentencing last week. He had been free on $25,000 bond.

Harrison was arrested in February by Uintah County Sheriff's detectives after allegedly confessing to molesting a 13-year-old girl in his home. The girl was not a student at Union High, where Harrison taught and coached wrestling.

Harrison's attorney and his wife asked the court not to send Harrison to prison. Harrison, who has four children, also asked 8th District Court Judge Lynn Payne for leniency so he could take care of his family.

The girl's father asked the court to impose the maximum penalty.

Harrison was initially charged with first-degree felony aggravated sexual abuse of a child, which carries a possible life sentence. The charge was reduced to a second-degree felony in a plea agreement that spared the girl having to go through a trial.

Harrison was convicted by a jury in 1993 of misdemeanor gross lewdness, according to court records. He was given a suspended six-month jail term and ordered to complete 18 months of probation. He obtained his teaching license seven years later after apparently passing inspection by the Utah Professional Practices Advisory Commission.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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