COTTONWOOD, Utah (ABC 4 News) - A stunning charge from a school teacher alarmed police.
Last week, Cottonwood police learned a school teacher at Bella Vista elementary was forced out of her classroom, dragged outside and raped.
"We found out that the rape allegedly happened at around 7:30 Thursday morning,” said police spokesman Beau Babka. “We were notified later that night."
Police started to investigate the horrific crime Friday morning.
“The big factor was did we have a predator on our hands,” said Babka.
And that was a big concern for police and the school. Were teachers and students in danger? Police stepped up patrols, but weren't sure who they were looking for.
"We had no information, it was an unknown type of a suspect, things were very sketchy at the time and so we did some investigation," he said.
By late Friday, investigators realized something wasn't right. For example, if the teacher was taken from her classroom, police wanted to know ‘why didn't surveillance cameras in and outside the building show this?’
"It became a red flag for us about two days after the report,” Babka said.
Police said she finally confessed Monday. The story was made up.
"She's going through some problems and some issues and that's obvious to us,” Babka said. “We hope she can work through those problems. We hope she can take care of whatever issues she has."
Babka said it’s unlikely the police department will recommend any charges against the school teacher. “But that will be up to prosecutors,” said Babka.
Filing a false police report is a Class A misdemeanor punishable to up to a year in jail.
A spokesperson for the Jordan school district said the teacher was not in school today.
The district plans to conduct an internal investigation. Under normal circumstances the teacher is placed on administrative leave pending the outcome.