Teachers aide accused of rape, sexual assault of multiple young girls let go after lawyer claims he ‘isn’t a danger to the community’

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WEST JORDAN, Utah (ABC4 News) – A man facing 10 first-degree felony counts related to the rape and sexual assault of three young girls was allowed to walk out of a courtroom on Wednesday after his attorney claimed his client “wasn’t a danger to the community,” according to court recording of the hearing.

Tyler Agustin Jex, 29, who is listed on court documents as being represented by Edward Brass, was in court on Thursday on a charge filed in 2018 for trying to convince a teenage girl in 2015 to have sex with him if he bought her a Playstation 4.

During the hearing, Brass told Judge William Kendall that because Jex was not arrested when the rape and sexual assault allegations surfaced in 2012, nor was he arrested in the 2015 case, he should not be deemed any more of a threat when the charged were actually filed.

Listen to the full audio recording of Jex’s court hearing on Thursday

Brass felt his client’s $500,000 warrant was excessive. Utah law sets the bail statutes and according to a document sent to ABC4 by Geoffrey Fattah, Utah State Courts Public Information Officer, the traditional bail amount per first-degree felony crime against a child, with the exception of murder is $20,000.

“It is state law that bail is only to be considered to ensure a person returns to court and does not ensure that a person will go out and commit a new crime,” said Fattah. “A judge can consider a danger to the community, as well as the possibility of flight risk.”

Those same documents also state that aggravating circumstances could change that, including any offense that caused substantial physical or psychological injury to a victim or if there are more than two victims.

Brass told Judge Kendall that his client was at one time listed on the DCFS child abuse registry for the same incidents but was able to have his name removed at a later date due to the lack of prosecution.

Brass told Judge Kendall he believes his client should be on exactly the same pretrial release conditions for the one second-degree felony as the additional 10 first-degree felony charges. He stated Jex is capable of showing up on his own recognizance as he has appeared at all of his previous court hearings.

In the 2018 case, Jex is accused of asking a 15-year-old girl through Facebook to have sex with him if he bought her a Playstation 4. When the girl refused and said she was too young, he told her he would use a condom, documents state.

Jex was charged in that case with second-degree felony solicitation of aggravated exploitation of prostitution because he offered payment in exchange for sex. Her age makes the charges aggravated.

The prosecutor, Melanie Serassio, argued they believe he is a clear danger to the community and his victims.

Serassio said her concern is they have four alleged victims in two cases, not including the one they were unable to prosecute, who have come forward and she believes there could be additional victims.

Two of the Jex’s alleged victims reported the case in 2012-2013 and they do not know why the case was declined at that time. They discovered two additional victims from the same time frame, one whose case they are unable to prosecute and another victim who reported in 2019 she was raped by Jex in 2012 after he pulled her into the bathroom at the school when she was 11.

In a statement released by the Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind on Thursday, Joel Coleman, Superintendent of Schools, said in 2013, the former USDB administration received notification there was an allegation of misconduct.

The statement reads:

Out of an abundance of caution the suspected employee was immediately escorted off of the campus that same day. Since that time, the employee has not worked at JMS or USDB.

JMS and USDB have done everything humanly possible to protect our students and to respond to all types of allegations. Under the current USDB administration students are constantly supervised by multiple adults and any exceptions are specifically authorized by a parent to accommodate a required special service

We want you to know USDB cares about the safety of our students and that is our top priority. 

One of the victims from 2012 reported in 2019 she ran into Jex twice. Once at church where he told her he wanted to tell her something “fun.” She ran and hid in the bathroom until he left. She then said she saw Jex at her prom and he grabbed her, so she ran ripping her dress in the process and went home.

The prosecution felt Jex was a current threat to this particular victim due to those incidents. Serrasio stressed that the rape to this victim was violent and when Jex ran into her at the dance, he allegedly admitted to her he was the one who assaulted her.

Brass responded that the prosecution failed to mention that no one thought it was weird a 29-year-old was at a high school prom, indicating he had evidence his client was not there. He stated because the “victim” in this case never reported this incident to the principal, there wasn’t any cooperation on her part.

The judge’s response to both Brass and the prosecution:

Based upon the information that I have before me, and having reviewed the new charge and probable cause statement, and heard the arguments of council, I will recall the warrant and will allow Mr. Jex to be booked and released and remain out of custody. I will order that he be supervised by pre-trial services, standard terms and conditions.

In speaking with the District Attorney’s office on Friday, they stand behind Serassio’s original argument and believe Jex is a danger to the community.

As of Friday afternoon, Jex had not yet been “booked and released” at the jail.

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