Ex-Utah teacher to trial on student sex charges

AP News
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Posted: Sep 20, 2014 4:56 PM
Ex-Utah teacher to trial on student sex charges

FARMINGTON, Utah (AP) — A 35-year-old former Utah high school teacher accused of having sexual relationships with two of her former students has been ordered to stand trial on additional charges of rape and forcible sodomy.

One of the teenage boys offered graphic details during his testimony at a preliminary hearing on Friday about how he went from being Brianne Altice's English student to allegedly having sex with her in his Farmington home.

The teen testified that he was 17 years old when a relationship with Altice took place between April and June of last year, according to The Salt Lake Tribune (http://tinyurl.com/l2wleze ). He says it began with kissing between class periods and eventually led to intercourse.

Altice, who was arrested in October for the alleged incidents involving the first student, now faces nine felony counts in connection with the allegations involving two of her former students.

Farmington 2nd District Judge John Morris ordered her on Friday to return to court on Oct. 9 to face three counts of rape and one charge of forcible sodomy.

Altice has pleaded not guilty to all counts. Her attorney Ed Brass argued she did not use her position as a teacher to persuade the teen into having a sexual relationship. He says she succumbed to the student's frequent flirting.

Under Utah law, a victim cannot consent to sex if the other person is in a position of special trust.

Altice was fired from Davis High School in February. She remains free on $10,000 bail.

On Friday, Brass peppered the teen with questions mostly concerning dates and the timeframe in which the alleged sexual contact occurred.

Prosecutors say the teacher acknowledged to investigators that she had engaged in sex with the 16-year-old boy on two occasions. But Brass has asked the judge to not allow those statements at her trial, arguing that she was intimidated by the eight to 10 male officers who came to her home last October to interview her about the allegations. Brass argued that the officers would not let her care for children, call an attorney or use the restroom for nearly four hours as they questioned her.

"Her statements were coerced and involuntary and were taken in violation of her so-called Miranda rights," Brass wrote in court papers. "The evidence she provided was the product of that tainted statement."

Altice, whose husband filed for divorce and custody of their child in December, was hired by the Davis County School District in 2004. She had been teaching at the high school since August 2012.

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Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com