SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) — A longtime teacher at Edison Elementary School was charged on Wednesday with sexually abusing a now 13-year-old student when she was in second grade.

According to the charging documents, Jared Tichy, 47, has been charged with one count of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, a first-degree felony, at the Third District Court in Salt Lake County on Wednesday, April 26.

Tichy is accused of inappropriately touching a second-grade student on several occasions. If convicted of the crime, Tichy faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.

“Our office will always aggressively prosecute those who victimize our children, especially those who hold a position of special trust in relation to the child, like a teacher,” said Salt Lake County District Attorney, Sim Gill. “We applaud the young survivor that made the decision to speak up and report this allegation. It is difficult for anyone to have the courage to take this step, especially a child.”

Court documents state the girl told authorities she felt “uncomfortable and weird” whenever Tichy touched her and that the teacher had convinced her that it was all a game. The girl reportedly kept quiet at first because she “didn’t know it was bad” and she didn’t want anyone to feel like she was being “overdramatic.”

According to charging documents, Tichy has been an elementary school teacher for 19 years, and he taught second grade at Edison Elementary from 2015 to 2017 as well as from 2019 to 2022.

Charges are allegations until the defendant is proven guilty.