SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — A former Granite Park Junior High staff member who became pregnant after having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old student in 2022 was sentenced to at least six years in Utah State Prison this week.
According to court documents, Kimberly Jennifer Cruz-Romero, 30, was found guilty of the first-degree charges of criminal solicitation and aggravated sexual abuse of a child. She was also found guilty of third-degree felony tampering with a witness.
While Cruz-Romero’s sentence is at least six years, a Salt Lake 3rd District Court judge ruled the sentence could carry a life-long punishment in prison.
In December 2022, Cruz-Romero was accused have having a sexual relationship with a student at the junior high where she worked in the attendance office. Over the course of their “relationship,” Cruz-Romero and the boy had multiple sexual interactions where she told him she had feelings for him. Cruz-Romero eventually became pregnant, claiming the boy was the father, which brought the allegations to light.
Granite School District immediately terminated Cruz-Romero from her part-time position when the allegations were brought forward. In a statement made to ABC4, Granite School District said the information revealed was disturbing saying Cruz-Romero had only been employed since the start of that school year. Officials said student safety is the school district’s primary concern and the charges were taken very seriously.
Charges of witness tampering were brought against Cruz-Romero a few months later when a student reported she had walked in on Cruz-Romero kissing a male student without her shirt on. The student said she was scared to report what she saw because Cruz-Romero told her she would kill her family if she told anyone.
Another underaged student later came forward saying Cruz-Romero solicited him for sex saying she told him she “liked him a lot” while driving him home from school after detention one afternoon. The student said Cruz-Romero would give him “seductive looks” and “creepy smiling faces” when he would ask for a pass, which prosecutors said was clearly grooming behavior.
As part of a plea deal, several other charges including two first-degree felony rape charges, a first-degree forcible sodomy charge, and a misdemeanor threat of violence charge were dismissed with prejudice.