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LOGAN, Utah (AP) -- Cache County attorneys charged a Logan businessman and part-time high school teacher with sexual abuse and aggravated assault Monday.
Alan Huestis, 48, who teaches advanced video at Mountain Crest High School and owns a photography shop, was arrested Jan. 11 for allegedly sexually abusing two 16-year-old girls and beating a 17-year-old boy.
Huestis faces two counts of second-degree felony forcible sexual abuse, five counts of third-degree felony witness tampering, a third-degree felony charge of wrongful appropriation and a third-degree felony charge of aggravated assault. After his arrest Jan. 11, he was released on $40,000 bond.
Two Mountain Crest students allege that Huestis fondled them in his photography studio Dec. 19. In retaliation, the girls and the boy allegedly stole as much as one pound of marijuana from Huestis' studio and destroyed it, said Logan Police Capt. Greg Ridler.
Huestis reportedly tracked down the 17-year-old boy at a Cache Valley ranch on Dec. 24 and beat him with a photo tripod for his part in the alleged marijuana theft. Authorities also believe that Huestis stole the boy's car.
Huestis apologized to the boy days later, but forced the 17-year-old to make a video recording in Huestis' studio about the girls' alleged actions.
"He was told that he wasn't going to leave the studio until he made a video-recorded statement," Ridler said. "He said he was directed as to what to say by Huestis."
Huestis said that the girls' statements are lies, and they fabricated the story to cover up their theft of a substantial amount of money from him. Huestis has been placed on administrative leave from his teaching position.
"These are a couple of troubled teens," Huestis said after his arrest. "I am prepared to defend any charges on their merits and will do so."
Prosecutors said they did not file drug charges against Huestis because the alleged marijuana is gone.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)