TRIGGER WARNING: This post contains content related to child sexual abuse. Reader discretion is advised.
WASHINGTON COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) — A former Washington County teacher was charged Wednesday with additional sex abuse charges. He was convicted in 2018 on four counts of aggravated sex abuse of a child, he now faces 14 additional charges out of Salt Lake.
Curtis William Payne, 60, was a former teacher in the Washington County School District when the alleged abuse occurred. However, he was not the teacher of this specific victim. He was charged with 13 counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, and one count of rape of a child.
According to charging documents, the abuse allegedly occurred over the span of three years, from 2014-2017. The alleged victim was four years old when the abuse first began.
Payne allegedly abused the victim both sexually and violently. In several instances, he allegedly cut the young girl and used a “Chucky” doll to wipe the blood. He would also allegedly threaten to kill her.
He is accused of raping her when she was approximately 6 or 7 years old. According to charging documents, the victim said when she tried to tell her mom, he would physically hurt her saying it was their secret.
When Payne was convicted in 2018 of other sex abuse charges, 5th District Court Judge Jeffrey C. Wilcox said he was “frankly appalled” at how they handled his behavior, revealing more than 30 females came forward with accusations.
The former teacher’s career spanned 32 years before the WCSD said it placed Payne on administrative leave. According to documents obtained by ABC4, the Division of Child and Family Services and police investigated two separate incidents with Payne in 1999 and 2002, but never filed formal charges.
And in 1999 the administration gave Payne a written warning with guidelines including — do not let a student sit on your lap, do not tickle a student, do not massage the shoulder or neck of a student, during a classroom video, leave the last bank of lights on, and avoid being in the classroom alone with a student.
The Division of Child and Family Services and St. George Police investigated the 1999 incident, but Payne was never arrested or charged, according to the district.
In 2002, the district also allegedly received complaints that Payne had touched and rubbed against students at a swim party, but the director of communications for the WCSD Steve Dunham said this was not a school event, and police were notified. Payne was also placed on a 1-year probation.
According to the 2002 investigation, Payne reportedly revealed he had continued to rub students’ shoulders in class, despite being advised against doing so in 1999.
During Payne’s sentencing for related crimes, the 5th District Court Judge Jeffrey C. Wilcox said the district took disciplinary action against Payne in both 2007 and 2008.
“In spite of being placed on probation with regard to his employment status, being given a final warning by the school district, and then admitting to violating some or all of the above directives on more than one occasion, the defendant was not only allowed to continue to teach but continued to teach his obvious preferred victim age group,” Wilcox said.
Dunham said that had the police filed charges, they could have taken action against Payne and terminated him as an employee.
Payne was sentenced in 2018 to serve four consecutive sentences of 15 years to life for those crimes. He will now go back to court for the aforementioned additional charges.
If you or someone you know needs help, call the Rape & Sexual Assault Crisis Line 1-888-421-1100.