Teen in Gunnison Valley High School sex abuse controversy accepts plea deal

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GUNNISON (ABC4 News)- The last of three boys charged in a case that divided a city over sexual misconduct perpetrated by members of the Gunnison Valley High School football team has finally been resolved. 

In a post on the Gunnison Valley Police Facebook page, police said the final of the three suspects, in this case, has pleaded guilty to having committed eight felony sex offenses against multiple victims.

“With the truth having prevailed and justice being served, it is the sincere hope of the Gunnison Valley Police Department that healing can begin,” said the post. “There are lessons to be learned and hurts that need mending and we look forward to continuing to provide the most professional and honorable service possible.”

Charges were filed against the 16-year-old boy when the victim told police he was assaulted by the suspect while two students reportedly helped hold him down.

“Student #2 and Student #3 restrained Child Doe, tackling and pinning him to the ground, while Student #1 rubbed his penis, testicles, and buttock all over the face of Child Doe,” the lawsuit stated.

The suspect was charged with six counts of object rape and five counts of forcible sex abuse.

In October, a lawsuit was filed against the South Sanpete County School District and other school officials for failing to act after the victim came forward with the abuse.

In the lawsuit, Attorney Robert Sykes stated school officials “treated this conduct as normal ‘horseplay’ between boys or, at worst, some form of acceptable hazing”.

Sykes claims they “gave at least three male students at Gunnison Valley High School a free pass to continue—and escalate—their abuse of Child Doe and other students”.

 “We also think what is really telling is the response or lack of response by those in charge including the superintendent and principal the vice principal….with ‘boys will be boys.’ this is just locker room stuff. it’s just harmless was the implication,” said the victim’s mother said at a press conference Thursday. 

The lawsuit states since the time of the initial attack at least 15 other students have come forward with other accounts of victimization. 

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